High Winds, Tornadoes Damage Parts of Midwest

July 14, 2015

Several Midwest states have been hit with damaging winds, tornadoes and flooding over the past several days.

Forecasters say at least four unconfirmed tornadoes may touched down in western Minnesota when strong storms moved through the state.

In Indiana, residents are cleaning up after a storm dumped up to 4 inches of rain in areas, caused flash flooding and spawned a small tornado that knocked down about 100 trees.

Early-morning wind gusts reached up 55 mph causing power outages and minor damage to homes in Sioux City, Iowa.

Hot, sticky weather on July 12 gave way to storms that toppled trees and power lines in Minnesota, the National Weather Service said. The four unconfirmed tornadoes were in Grant, Wilkin and Otter Tail counties.

The storms damaged the stands at Brainerd International Raceway and left a section in a pile of twisted metal. Utility crews are working to restore service to about 6,000 Xcel Energy customers and 5,900 others with Minnesota Power. Wind gusts reached 80 mph in Douglas and Morrison counties.

Fire officials in Sioux City say two houses briefly caught on fire due to fallen wires, and another house fire was caused by leftover coals from a grill that fell over. No injuries were reported.

Rachel Massey was thankful her teenage daughter wasn’t at her home in Princes Lake, Ind., about 30 miles south of Indianapolis, when a tornado the National Weather Service estimates had winds of up to 85 mph blew a massive tree into the girl’s bedroom about 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

“Honestly I feel blessed that she wasn’t here and we’re all safe. And I just think it is a crazy coincidence but I really feel blessed, somebody was really looking out for us,” Massey told WTHR-TV in Indianapolis.

No injuries were reported, but about 10 homes were damaged by falling trees. Johnson County Emergency Management Director Stephanie Sichting said the tornado first touched down west of Trafalgar and touched down several times.

Further west, in Mooresville, about 20 miles southwest of Indianapolis, about a dozen homes had to be evacuated because of fast-rising water after the area was hit by torrential rain about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

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