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Storm brings heavy rain; 61 mph wind gusts

Lead Summary

Friday night a line of severe thunderstorms swept through western Minnesota bringing damaging winds, hail and heavy rain. At 9:40 p.m. lightening arched across the western sky as the storm rolled in with winds still relatively calm out of the east at just 7 mph.
Ten minutes later winds were out of the northwest gusting to 46 mph. By 10:15 gusts at the Benson Airport had reached 61 mph as non-stop lightening lit up the landscape, giving glimpse of the driving rain and trees bent over in the wind.
As the storms passed over the community, the city’s sirens went off warning people to take cover. No tornados were sighted in the area and there were no radar-indicated funnel clouds in the immediate area. However, the siren was sounded because straight-line winds were expected to reach 70 mph, Chief of Police Ian Hodge said.
Shortly after 10:30 the winds were still gusting to over 40 mph, but easing as the storm moved eastward. By shortly before 11 p.m. winds were again calm, but the night wasn’t silent in the storm’s aftermath as the wail of sirens could be heard.
At the Swift Falls Park, a branch fell on a tent injuring one person who was taken to the Swift County-Benson Hospital for treatment. In Benson, a power line was severed, resulting in several hours of no power for residents by the Swift County Benson Hospital.
Photo:  Friday’s storm brought between 1.2 and 1.75 inches of rain to the area. It also brought strong winds that caused crop damage in the area.

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