- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A powerful line of severe thunderstorms knocked out power to tens of thousands of people, downed trees and dumped torrential rain as it raced east across Minnesota on Tuesday.

Xcel Energy said more than 138,000 of its customers across the upper Midwest were without power around 10:30 p.m., with the majority of outages in Minnesota. Wright-Hennepin Co-op Electric reported around 4,300 customers affected west of the Twin Cities and estimated power will be restored by 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says the storms knocked down trees up to 2 feet in diameter between Cold Spring and Kimball as they moved through central Minnesota. Widespread tree damage was reported between South Haven and Annandale, where gusts topped 71 mph. A pole barn was blown down near Becker.

Wright County’s emergency manager, Steve Berg, said straight-line winds caused extensive tree damage in the Annandale, Buffalo and Hanover areas, but there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or major structural damage.

The skies turned dark over downtown Minneapolis before 6 p.m., and Twins baseball fans were told to take cover as torrential rain arrived at Target Field. The game against the Oakland Athletics was rain-delayed for more than two and a half hours.

Up to 3 inches of rain fell in some parts of the metropolitan area, triggering a flash flood warning.

Ramsey County officials reported several people had to be rescued from flooded cars in Roseville, and in Fridley, first responders rescued five to six people from cars, the Star Tribune reported.

The strong winds included 60-mph gusts clocked at the Crystal airport and the Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie.

The thunderstorms caused temporary delays at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but spokesman Pat Hogan said the airport remained open.

A tornado touched down north of Appleton in Swift County of western Minnesota around 3 p.m., the weather service said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

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