A sluggish warm front triggered a series of thunderstorms that blasted the Minneapolis area with high damaging winds, hail and heavy downpourings of rain this past weekend. Summer made its official debut in the southern portion of Minnesota like a big bully Friday with storms that dumped three or more inches of rain, resulting in flash flooding. The National Weather Service warned residents of the Twin Cities area that they could be in for at least three more inches of rain through Monday evening because there is no cold front behind the bad weather to push it further away from southern Minnesota.
In addition to flood damages, the most noticeable impact on Saturday for hundreds of thousands of people in and around the Twin Cities area was the lack of power as the storms took out scores of utility poles and power lines. Over 1,000 utility workers were deployed Saturday to help bring power back but Xcel Energy warned that many people could go several days without electricity. The utility company also said that about 500,000 customers lost power at some point during the bad weather with more than half of those getting their lights back on by mid-day Saturday.
The thunderstorms which rolled across the southern portion of Minnesota this weekend caused significant street flooding in Albertville and St. Michael in Wright County according to the National Weather Service. That area remains under a flash flood warning through Monday morning. Flooding also took place in McLeod County after up to four inches of rain came down. Many homes and businesses were flooded there. The NSW is warning residents of southern Minnesota to brace for more flooding as rain is in the forecast for the area through Thursday of this week.
Across the city of St. Paul, neighbors were out helping each other Sunday as many large old trees fell on homes, garages and vehicles. There were so many large trees ripped out of the ground in St. Paul that city buses had to find alternate routes. Additionally, many people were left with no way out of the neighborhoods where they lived due to so many trees and large branches laying across city streets. On one block after another across St. Paul Saturday, one could hear the steady hum of generators and chain saws as residents worked hard to clean up their yards, driveways and neighborhood streets.