APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - It promises to be a steamy day for residents across the metro especially for those left without electricity after powerful storms swept across the Twin Cities early Tuesday morning.
Authorities in Apple Valley closed Pilot Knob Road between County Road 42 and County Road 46 in both directions after 14 power poles were knocked down or snapped in half by by winds that gusted between 60 and 80 miles per hour.
Pilot Knob Road is expected to be shut down the rest of the morning and likely through the afternoon as Dakota electric works to restore power to thousands of residents.
Unfortunately they are not alone. Xcel energy reported a total of 71,000 customers were without power across the Twin Cities just before 7 a.m. Most of those outages were due to trees and branches knocked down by the winds.
Crews were able to make good progress making repairs and as of 11 a.m. approximately 35,000 remained without power.
KARE 11 Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says most of the thunderstorms that swept through late Monday and early Tuesday produced just lightning, thunder and some brief intense downpours but one storm did produce strong wind gusts.
Around 4 a.m. that thunderstorm started producing downburst winds around Belle Plaine and New Prague that registered wind gusts reaching 83 and 81 mph that impacted those communities.
Wind gusts continued with that storm as it pushed through the south metro which are responsible for that sizeable power outage in Apple Valley and surrounding cities. Those gusts started to weaken as the storm moved east but still reached 60-70 mph until the system blew into western Wisconsin.
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