MINNEAPOLIS — Strong storms knocked down trees and caused power outages across the Minneapolis area Saturday night, prompting the Minnesota State Fair to shut down rides and cancel a concert.
Wind gusts over 60 mph were reported as the storm moved across the metro area. National Weather Service meteorologist Tyler Hasenstein told the Minneapolis Star Tribune there were reports of fallen trees blocking roads after the storm.
An Xcel Energy outage map showed that more than 27,000 customers lost power at the peak of the outages Saturday night, but that number had been cut to less than 2,500 by Sunday afternoon as crews worked to restore power.
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At the State Fair, the rain sent many people fleeing for the exits.
“All of a sudden, rain started pouting from the sky and everybody started running,” said Marisa Palmer, who was visiting Minnesota from New Jersey. ”It felt really scary at first. The entire sky was covered with lightning. It was truly petrifying.”
“It literally felt like someone turned on a shower head,” said Palmer’s friend, Pacinthe Mattar, of Toronto. Mattar, Palmer and another friend took shelter under the awning of a Midway booth.
The State Fair said it would offer refunds for the cancelled concert, but officials said the storm didn’t cause any significant damage to the fairgrounds so the event was back open Sunday.