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Storms dampen weekend festivities; more rain on the way

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Downed tree in Richfield
Saturday's rough weather brought down trees in Richfield -- here on the 6600 block of Penn Avenue -- and across the Twin Cities metro.
Hart Van Denburg / MPR News

Late-week predictions of stormy weather and soggy Father's Day barbecues for this weekend have already begun to come true. 

• Weather updates on the Updraft blog

Storms to continue throughout the weekend

Showers and thunderstorms have already dumped heavy rain on portions of southwest Minnesota, with more than an inch reported in Redwood Falls. MPR News meteorologist Craig Edwards says residents in and around the Twin Cities metro area should expect rain and wind throughout the weekend.

Severe thunderstorms are possible, too, most likely in southwest Minnesota, with the potential for large hail and gusty winds. Flash flood watches have been issued for much of the southeast metro area until Sunday night. 

• The Updraft: Warm front sets the stage for stormy period

Strong winds down trees, topple sailboats, ground planes

On Lake Minnetonka late Saturday morning, high wind gusts caused several sailboats to capsize, leaving sailors stranded on their boats and in the water. All were accounted for as of noon Saturday.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport sent an update on its Twitter feed just before 3 p.m., announcing a ground stop of all takeoffs and landings because of the wind. The stop did not last long, though some flight schedules were affected. (Check your flight status.) 

Xcel Energy spokesperson Mary Sandok said more than 50,000 of the company's Twin Cities-area customers lost power during Saturday's storms, concentrated in the south-west metro area. More than half of those customers had power restored by mid-afternoon, and Sandok said the company has called in crews from elsewhere in the Upper Midwest to help with the remaining 22,000.(Xcel's Minnesota power outage map)

To report downed power lines, call Xcel's hotline at 1-800-895-1999.

Outdoor events: Some shifting to Plan B

The weather has forced outdoor events around the Twin Cities to scramble, shift or shut down altogether. Outdoor festivities along the new Green Line light rail route's grand opening closed early, though trains will continue to offer free rides all weekend and indoor events will continue as planned. 

• Green Line launch: Metro Transit's guide to Opening Day

St. Paul's Como Zoo closed early... 

... and Minneapolis' Stone Arch Bridge Festival is telling attendees to check its Twitter account for updates: 

The overnight Northern Spark festival, which begins at 9 p.m. Saturday in Minneapolis, will continue, rain or shine, though organizers have announced a few changes to its kickoff programming:

https://twitter.com/Northern_Spark/status/477912116695805952

And Minneapolis' Music & Movies in the Park has cancelled its Saturday night event at Lake Harriet:

For full weather coverage from MPR News' Paul Huttner, follow @MPRweather on Twitter.