Update: State of emergency declared in Cannon Falls after Thursday's storm
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The city of Cannon Falls was under a state of emergency Friday after a severe weather system Thursday night caused widespread damage across southern and southeastern Minnesota.
Cannon Falls High School was being used as a triage center Friday afternoon due to limited power to provide for those in need, according to a city news release. The school was initially being set up as a shelter for residents affected by the storm, as well as to shelter residents from a care center evacuated because of a generator fire.
Mayor Robby Robinson declared a state of emergency. Authorities asked residents and damage sightseers to stay home to avoid extra vehicles driving around work crews.
No injuries were reported after severe weather downed trees and power lines Thursday in Cannon Falls, authorities said. Power remained out across much of the city Friday afternoon.
Cannon Falls schools were closed Friday.
It could be several days until electric and natural gas services are restored. The city recommends residents without power or natural gas make arrangements to stay with family or friends that have not been impacted the storm event. Because of the extent of damage, the city has closed all parks and trails.
The city also requested residents reduce their water use in order to prevent sewer system overload. The city's 10 lift stations are without power and using either a mobile generator or vacuum truck to keep sewage from backing up.
As many as 10,000 Xcel Energy customers were without power Friday morning in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to a news release. The utility company said more than 71,000 customers were impacted by the storms.
According to Xcel Energy:
"We know losing power is inconvenient and we appreciate customers’ understanding, patience and kindness as hundreds of our crew members work to restore power. Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to customers and we have more than 400 workers assisting with restoration efforts. Most of the Twin Cities metro area will have power restored today. In the hardest hit areas of Faribault and southeastern Minnesota, crews are clearing trees and downed poles in locations that sustained significant damage."
LINK: Xcel Energy outage map
A line of severe thunderstorms blew through southern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin Thursday night. Spotters reported multiple likely tornadoes around the region, according to the National Weather Service. Damage survey teams were working Friday morning to survey damage and make final determinations about tornado activity. Tornadoes were confirmed near Granada, Morristown, Faribault and the Lake Elysian and Waterville area.
The weather service will provide updates on storm damage at https://www.weather.gov/mpx/20180920_Severe_Weather.
This story will be updated as information is received.