2 tornados hit southeastern Minnesota

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Boats tipped
Sailboats toppled from their lifts on Bug Island on Lake Minnetonka after Thursday's storms. The weather station at the nearby Minnetonka Yacht Club recorded a wind gust of 61mph during the height of the storm.
MPR Photo/Paul Huttner

(AP) - A midsummer storm pushed through central and southeastern Minnesota on Thursday, knocking down power lines and ripping up farm buildings.

The National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in the southeastern part of the state.

The storm toppled trees in the Twin Cities while a burst of intense rain quickly filled streets with water. In central Minnesota, a roofer was critically injured when he was struck by lightning in Monticello.

One tornado was confirmed in Dakota County and the other in Goodhue County, the weather service said.

Power line down
Severe weather caused downed power lines in some areas this afternoon, including this one in Deephaven.
MPR Photo/Paul Huttner

At about 1:15 p.m., a tornado rated EF0, with winds estimated between 65 and 85 mph, touched down five miles west of Vermillion and was on the ground for six miles, lifting three miles northeast of Hampton. Broken trees as well as minor damage to houses and sheds were seen along the tornado's path.

About 25 minutes later, a EF0 tornado touched down three miles east of Vasa and remained on the ground for one mile, lifting four miles east of Vasa. Scattered broken trees and minor damage to houses and sheds also were noted along that tornado's path, the weather service said.

The storm packed hail and high winds as it hit the western and southern Twin Cities, National Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Friedlein said.

A Chanhassen weather spotter reported a wind gust of 60 mph, while another spotter reported a wind of 70 mph three miles southwest of Jordan, Friedlein said.

The storm damaged homes and farms, blew over irrigators and semi-trucks, and downed power lines in Dakota County, Chief Deputy Sheriff Dave Bellows said. A mobile home was blown over with people inside, but they suffered only minor injuries, he said.

In McLeod County, emergency management director Kevin Matthews said golfball-sized hail caused damage in Winsted and Lester Prairie. Trees were down in those cities and in Glencoe, and the heavy weather had sparked a fire in Lester Prairie.

In the Twin Cities, penny-sized hail fell in Long Lake, Excelsior, Eden Prairie and Burnsville, Friedlein said.

In Monticello, a man shingling a roof on a house was struck by lightning, Wright County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Kunkel said. The man was treated at Monticello-Big Lake Hospital, then transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he was in critical condition Thursday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)