Minnesota storms produce 81 mph winds, 75,000 customers without power

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Severe storms knocked out power to as many as 75,000 customers across Minnesota where power poles were toppled and winds gusted as high as 81 mph in the state’s southern region.

The largest power outages were west of the Twin Cities and by Wednesday morning service had been restored to about half of those who lost power, according to Xcel Energy.

Winds Tuesday night gusted as high as 81 mph near Hector in Renville County in southern Minnesota. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported a peak wind gust of 62 mph.

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The National Weather Service said it received reports of trees and branches down from Carver and McLeod counties east across the Twin Cities.

Up to 75,000 customers were left without power after Minnesota winds knocked over power lines.

Up to 75,000 customers were left without power after Minnesota winds knocked over power lines. (Fox News)

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The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported that a house in the city of Grant caught fire after being hit by lightning. And the Bloomington Fire Department shared video of downed power lines sparking a small fire after the storms moved through.

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

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