Weather

‘Rain bomb’ drops torrential rain in Minneapolis, west Twin Cities metro area

Heavy rain on a street
As heavy rain falls, traffic delays occur and water gushes from manhole covers around Ford Parkway in St. Paul on Wednesday.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

A sudden downpour in Minneapolis and the west Twin Cities metro area caused power outages, hail and high winds.

“It was what some people call a rain bomb,” said MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner. “These storms that are localized and they just blow up and just dump a tremendous amount of rain quickly and then move on.”

Parts of Minneapolis saw 1 to 2 inches of rain in less than an hour, Huttner said.

Heavy rain on a street
As heavy rain falls, traffic delays occur and water gushes from manhole covers around Ford Parkway in St. Paul on Wednesday.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Xcel Energy is reporting thousands of homes and businesses without power in the Twin Cities. As of 4 p.m., Xcel reported about 10,000 customers without power in the metro.

The storms produced gusty winds and torrential rain, and there were reports of penny-size hail in Minneapolis.

The storms sent people scrambling for cover on what had been an otherwise pleasant summer afternoon.

At a farmers’ market in Coon Rapids, the rain started up, then came a downpour and strong winds.

“We had straight line winds gusting far harder than I’ve witnessed before at a market. Losses here were a lot of vendors’ equipment is destroyed, their tents are gone. And of course that’s the biggest thing,” said Larry Golyer, who runs the Anoka County farmers’ markets.

“No injuries that we can tell, and tents hit a few cars, but other than that it was just a mess."

Golyer said a lot of produce and goods were damaged by the storm.

The National Weather Service warned of wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. Other parts of Minnesota are also seeing rain and thunderstorms.