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The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office has not received any reports of significant storm damage locally but it's suspected the strong thunderstorms that began pounding the region yesterday and continued through the night and into the morning contributed to power outages in Rochester affecting nearly 2000 homes and businesses.

Rochester Public Utilities photo
Rochester Public Utilities photo

The storm reports gathered by the National Weather Service show the several rounds of storms that moved across southeastern Minnesota produced damaging hail, heavy rains, and strong winds. The heaviest rain was reported in areas south and east of Rochester. The latest reports indicate 2.85 inches fell near Stewartville, and nearly 2 1/2 inches was reported in the Chatfield area. The highest rainfall totals have been coming in from areas of Winona County. More than 3.5 inches were reported in Stockton and Winona saw more than 3.2 inches of rain. Just over an inch of rain was recorded at the Rochester airport, but other parts of the city saw more than an inch and a half of rain from the storms.

Reports of 1-inch diameter hail were common in many areas of southeastern Minnesota, including Rochester. There were reports of hail as large as 1.5 inches in diameter in the Rochester area but the largest hailstones reported to the National Weather Service were found in Freeborn County. nearly 3-inch diameter hail fell near the town of Twin Lakes south of Albert Lea and 2-inch hail was reported in Glenville.

The storm systems also produced some very strong winds. Gusts approaching 50 mph were reported near Stewartville, while wind gusts exceeding 60 mph were reported at New Richland between Albert Lea and Owatonna and in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area.

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