Storm Spawned At Least Two Tornadoes
The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes were responsible for some of the damage caused by the severe storms that ripped across sections of Minnesota on Tuesday.
One of the twisters was an EF-1 storm that touched down about five miles southwest of Lake City just before 8:30 p.m. The tornado, which had estimated top winds of around 93 miles per hour, was on the ground for about a quarter-mile.
The National Weather Service says a weaker, EF-0 tornado has also been confirmed in the Northfield area. That twister had maximum winds of around 70-90 miles per hour when it was on the ground near Dennison just before 8 p.m.
Straight-line winds caused most of the storm damage and widespread power outages. One of the strongest gusts was recorded in northern Olmsted County at about 75 miles per hour.
Rochester Public Utilities reported that around 2700 of its customers lost power because of the storm, and it was mid-afternoon Wednesday before all of the homes and businesses had their electrical service restored. Crews for Xcel Energy faced the daunting task of repairing the service to over 250,000 customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. At last report, about 50,000 Xcel customers were still without power.