WITHOUT DATE – A line of severe storms moved across central Minnesota in the late morning and early afternoon on Saturday.
Starting at 10:00 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a series of severe thunderstorm warnings for Kandiyohi, Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Morrison and Todd counties as a storm capable of producing hail the size of a Ping-pong ball and 60 to 70 mph wind gusts moved east-northeast across the state. These alerts expired at 12:30 p.m.
In addition, tornado warnings were issued for parts of Stearns and Benton counties due to the rotation indicated by the radar. These warnings came with the risk of straight-line winds and tennis ball-sized hail and expired at 12:45 p.m.
Stearns County Director of Emergency Management Erin Tufte said he had received reports of flooding in central Sauk, felled trees in the Brooten and Belgrade area, as well as heavy hail originating north of St. Cloud and Sartell.
Stearns Electric reports widespread blackouts affecting more than 3,000 customers. The crews reacted as quickly as possible to restore power.
Central Minnesota remains under tornado watch until 4:00 p.m. Saturday with another possibility of afternoon and evening storms.