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Thousands still without power after strong storms sweep through metro

People across the Twin Cities woke up to dark bedrooms and silent air conditioners Wednesday morning after storms brought down trees overnight.

MINNEAPOLIS — Emergency crews fanned out across the Twin Cities metro and surrounding communities Wednesday after wind and heavy rain swept through the area overnight. 

According to Xcel Energy, around 35,000 people in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin were initially without power after the storm. As of Wednesday evening, about 4,500 customers were still impacted by outages.

Strong wind gusts from the early morning thunderstorms measured up to 81 mph. The Bloomington Fire Department posted a video on social media showing a tree branch burning brightly due to contact with a live power line. 

Sheriff's officials in Washington County also blamed a fire that destroyed a home in rural Grant on a lightning strike.

KARE 11's Guy Brown even saw some storm damage near his home in Minneapolis. Early Wednesday morning, broken glass was scattered across a downtown sidewalk from a light pole that was brought down in the storm. 

Elsewhere in Minneapolis, near the intersection of Minnehaha Avenue and East 34th Street, KARE 11 crews saw trees down in the roadways, including one large tree that fell and crushed two parked cars. One of the vehicles was so buried in the tree's foliage that it wasn't visible from the street. 

According to Xcel Energy, if you see a tree down on a powerline, consider it an emergency situation and do not try to touch or remove the branches. Instead, immediately contact your power company. 

The emergency number for Xcel is 800-895-1999. 

To report a power outage through Xcel Energy, you can visit their website here. If your service is through Alliant, you can report an outage here

The storms rolled in after an intensely hot, humid day across much of central and southern Minnesota Tuesday, with the heat indexes reaching as high as 115 degrees in some spots. The Twin Cities airport had a peak heat index of 109 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Much drier air is expected across the state for Wednesday, with highs in the 70s and 80s.

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