ROCHESTER, Minn. - A fast-moving, powerful weather system with heavy rain moved through southeastern Minnesota Thursday morning causing flooding in downtown Rochester and storm damage in other areas.
A Flash Flood Warning for central Olmsted County was issued just after 7 a.m. as the storm developed. The heaviest rainfall was located near downtown Rochester, with Mayo Clinic's Charlton Building reporting water in the lobby. Crews removed the water and officials report no damage to the building.
Rochester police say heavy rain also caused flooding in other parts of Rochester with reports of cars literally floating away in flood waters that swamped roads near 19th Street Northwest at Valleyhigh Drive.
Reports of 1.5 inches of rain came in from in northwest Rochester at KTTC. Other parts of downtown Rochester reportedly received between 2 and 2.5 inches; more than 3 inches was reported in Byron, with localized flooding reported there as well.
The Rochester Fire Department said they responded to three homes that were struck by lightning. Fortunately, officials said, none of the damage was significant. One of the strikes ignited some window curtains, but the fire was quickly put out.
Wind gusts of 50 miles per hour were reported in downtown Rochester, and there were reports of several tree branches down. The storm also caused damage as it moved east through Eyota, with multiple reports of fallen tree branches there as well.
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