Marie Roggenkamp / Daily Journal: The 1.07 inches of rain in Fergus Falls Sunday evening flooded NP Park south of downtown.

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Severe storms hit ND, central MN

Published 11:09am Monday, July 11, 2011 Updated 11:09am Monday, July 11, 2011

AP and Journal reports

Severe thunderstorms caused heavy damage across southeastern North Dakota and central Minnesota late Sunday evening, leaving hundreds of people without power. The Fergus Falls area was hit with heavy rainfall, but escaped strong winds that struck other areas.

Fergus Falls had 1.07 inches of rainfall during a 24-hour period from 7 a.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. today. Those figures came from the National Weather Service, Grand Forks Office.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department reported little damage. There was, however, a fallen tree along Highway 1 near Amor, northwest of Otter Tail Lake. Authorities removed the tree before it became a hazard to motorists.

Power outages were reported in the Fergus Falls area, Ashby, Elbow Lake, Evansville and other areas. Otter Tail Power Company reports that electricity has been restored to most of its customers in North Dakota and Minnesota, with the exception of Wyndmere, N.D., Oakes, N.D., and customers near Alexandria. Crews are working on damage caused by downed trees due to high winds. Many customers will be without service until later today.

Otter Tail Power Company reminds people about the danger of going near downed power lines.

One of the hardest hit areas was Sauk Centre in central Minnesota. Fire Chief Keith Polipnick said straight-line winds damaged hundreds of homes and uprooted a countless number of trees.

“Power lines are down just about everywhere in our region,” said Polipnick.

Xcel Energy reported about 15,000 customers without power Monday morning in the Sauk Centre area, including nearby towns.

The National Weather Service issued severe weather warnings Sunday night. A trained spotter reported a tornado in Grove City, east of Willmar, just before 9 p.m. There were no reports of serious injuries.

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