Heavy rains, hail and high winds reported in Thursday's storms - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Heavy rains, hail and high winds reported in Thursday's storms

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photo courtesy Christopher J. Skaalen photo courtesy Christopher J. Skaalen
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  • Slideshow: Thursday storm hail pictures

    Slideshow: Thursday storm hail pictures

    ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Thursday's line of storms produced heavy rains, high winds, and large hail across southeastern Minnesota, north Iowa and western Wisconsin.More >>
    ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Thursday's line of storms produced heavy rains, high winds, and large hail across southeastern Minnesota, north Iowa and western Wisconsin.More >>

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Thursday's storms were responsible for heavy rains, high winds and more across a large portion of southeastern Minnesota.

The storm also featured large hail across the region. Hail estimated at over an inch was reported near Lanesboro, and hail nearly 2 and a half inches was reported in La Crosse, Wis.

There were reports of crop damage in Fillmore County near Harmony, where gusty winds were estimated at 40 miles per hour. And the storm dumped 2.1 inches of rain in Spring Valley.

The storm lead to a quick end to Thursdays on First and Third in downtown Rochester, as vendors called it a night at about 2:30 p.m. and scrambled to take down tents and move grills indoors before the storm moved in.

Merchants also quickly brought in merchandise from the downtown sidewalk sale before the storm hit. And the Olmsted County Fair was forced to take a break during lightning, but resumed activities again at about 5 p.m.

And here's a bit of encouraging news for local communities that took a hard hit during June storms: President Obama has signed federal disaster declarations for several Minnesota counties hit by severe storms and flooding last month.

Fillmore County is one of 18 counties that are now eligible for disaster aid from state and local governments.

The president's declaration also gives funds to a few private non-profit organizations for recovery and building efforts.

Other counties receiving aid inlcude Houston, Faribault, and Freeborn Counties.

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