MINNEAPOLIS — Following flashing lightning, pouring rain and howling wind that kept Minnesotans from sleeping soundly Wednesday night, the National Weather Service confirmed on Thursday an EF0 tornado had developed in the northwest metro.
The widespread storms tore through the metro and surrounding communities for several hours, while NWS said a tornado boasting maximum wind speeds of 80 miles per hour was confirmed on the northeast side of Coon Rapids just before 8:30 p.m. on May 11. Officials say the tornado was approximately 50 yards wide, and its path measured roughly three miles long.
Folks in many cities reported damage from water and hail, but in Minneapolis, the main factor causing issues appeared to be the strong winds.
A KARE 11 crew found a tree uprooted and laying on top of three cars at 55th Street and Washburn Avenue in south Minneapolis early Thursday morning. Not only was one of the cars crushed, but the road was impassable.
The winds may have also been a factor in damaging powerlines Wednesday night. As of 3:30 p.m.. Thursday, Xcel Energy reported a little more than 16,000 customers across the metro were without power.
Schools in the area have resorted to closing or moving to remote learning on Thursday due to storm-related power outages. In Hopkins, the high school and L.H. Tanglen Elementary School are closed Thursday. Park Center and Brooklyn Middle School in Osseo Area Schools are going remote due to electrical issues. Palmer Lake Elementary has canceled classes because of a continued outage.
Overnight, downpours also prompted the reemergence of "Lake Chipotle," aka the flooded out parking lot at the Chipotle restaurant on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown.
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The metro wasn't the only area that felt the impacts of Wednesday night's storm. The National Weather Service reported an area reaching from Northfield to Woodbury and Forest Lake saw winds with speeds of 60 to 70 mph. Shakopee and Morristown experienced strong winds as well, with gusts nearing 80 mph.
And of course, much of the state saw rain pouring down hard and fast. At MSP International Airport a new daily precipitation record was set, breaking one that had been in place since 1935.
The rainfall was causing its own issues for people living in, or trying to travel through low-lying areas of Minnesota.
Wednesday night, a KARE 11 crew came across a railroad overpass near Vadnais Heights where multiple vehicles were stranded in flood waters, and witnessed a Good Samaritan coming to the aid of a woman who didn't see the deep water and drove her vehicle straight into it. Another vehicle was seen swamped in knee-deep water near 78th Street in Edina.
Not only were people and homes impacted by the storms, but Minnesota's sports teams had to adjust their plans as well.
The Twins had to postpone the remainder of their game against the Astros, as conditions became impossible ahead of the 4th inning. Fans had to head home, but anyone who held a ticket to Wednesday's game is welcome to come back on Thursday afternoon to catch the conclusion of the postponed matchup. They also get to take in the game regularly scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
The first game starts at 12:10 p.m., and more information can be found here.
Minnesota United had similar issues with their Wednesday night match after Allianz Field in St. Paul flooded. The game was halted at 7:21 p.m. in the 19th minute.
The remainder of the match against Colorado has been postponed until 1 p.m. Thursday. Tickets for Wednesday's game will still be valid. Information about the game can be found on the United FC website.
More potentially severe weather was forecast for Thursday that could bring hail, high winds and tornadoes from the Dakotas and Minnesota into other parts of the Midwest, the Storm Prediction Center said.
This is a developing story, and KARE 11 will update as more information becomes available.
YOUR PHOTOS: Severe weather on May 11, 2022
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