Tree and building damage in Plainview from apparent tornado caug - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Tree and building damage in Plainview from apparent tornado caught on camera; severe weather threat lessens as storm moves north

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Tornado caught on camera (Photo by Jesse Roemer) Tornado caught on camera (Photo by Jesse Roemer)
Wind event caught on camera near Plainview Wind event caught on camera near Plainview
Plainview tree damage from thunderstorm Plainview tree damage from thunderstorm
Thunderstorm near Eyota (Photo from Chris Stephens) Thunderstorm near Eyota (Photo from Chris Stephens)
Hailstones at Mazeppa (Photo from Lynsey Hall) Hailstones at Mazeppa (Photo from Lynsey Hall)

Authorities are on the scene of wind damage to trees and buildings in Plainview, with eyewitnesses say what appeared to be a tornado came out of the clouds and left its mark shortly before 5 p.m. 

Jesse Roemer took a photo of the twister out his car window as he was heading home near Plainview about 4:45 p.m.

A crabapple tree was uprooted near 4th Street Northwest and 2nd Avenue Northwest in Plainview and there are reports of power outages in the city.

NewsCenter's Alanna Martella has been on the scene and will have the latest on KTTC NewsCenter at 10 p.m.

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for a portion of northern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota into the evening hours but as the storm moves north, the National Weather Service has been dropping counties from the watch area as it passes.

A Tornado Warning has been cancelled for northeastern Steele County.  As of 4:20 p.m., the National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for portions of southeast Olmsted and western Winona Counties, an parts of Steele, Fillmore and Houston Counties.

A Tornado Warning has been issued for northeastern Steele County until 4:30 p.m. CDT.  At 3:55 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was identified near Owatonna moving northward at 35 mph.  The communities of Moland and Merton are potentially in the path of this system. 

If you are in this area, you are urged to take cover immediately.  Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

The National Weather Service has expanded a Tornado Watch area to include south central and southeastern Minnesota and all of northeast Iowa--the entire KTTC viewing area--until this evening.

Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea, Winona, Owatonna, Red Wing, Decorah, Mason City and all nearby areas are all included in the watch area. 

The counties from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin in the KTTC viewing area include:  Allamakee, Buffalo, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Dodge, Faribault, Fayette, Fillmore, Floyd, Franklin, Freeborn, Hancock, Houston, Howard, Kossuth, Mitchell, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Trempealeau, Wabasha, Waseca, Winneshiek, Winnebago, Winona, Worth and Wright.

The Tornado Watch expires for the counties in Iowa at 7 p.m. CDT.  The counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin are under a Tornado Watch until 11 p.m. CDT.

With farmers worried after getting nearly five inches of rain in the past two days in the Elgin and Elba areas, southeast Minnesota braced for yet another round of rain Wednesday afternoon.

A line of thunderstorms was moving through in the early afternoon hours, and portions of Wabasha, Winona and Houston Counties could be impacted by brief periods of heavy rain and pea-sized hail, according to forecasters from the National Weather Service office in La Crosse.

A Tornado Watch is in effect until 7 p.m. for a number of counties in northern Iowa, including Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Winnebago, Worth and Wright.

Early Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service cancelled a Flash Flood Warning for portions of southeast Minnesota.  The warning included Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona Counties in Minnesota.  

Thunderstorms continued to build through the evening, bringing the threat of heavy rain, hail and high winds in the most severe cells.

An additional Flood Warning was issued for Buffalo and Trempealeau Counties of western Wisconsin.

Large hail fell in the Mazeppa area, with photo proof sent in to KTTC by Lynsey Hall just before 9 p.m.

"Flooding, including river flooding and flash flooding are possible, especially for those areas across southeast MN that received 2-5 inches of rain last night," warned NWS/La Crosse staff meteorologists. "As a result, will issue a Flash Flood Watch for southeast MN and Buffalo/Trempealeau Counties in WI from 02-12Z late this evening and overnight where 1-3 inches (locally more) of rain are possible."

"The danger is really most significant for those areas of northeast Olmsted stretching into Wabasha and Winona counties that have already gotten two inches of rain already," said KTTC Chief Meteorologist Matt Benz.  "That's why the warning for possible flash flooding was issued." 

Meantime, a Flash Flood Watch was issued for a wide area of southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Heavy rain of up to four inches Monday night left farm fields flooded near Elgin and southeast toward Elba.  Hail the size of golf balls was reported at Chester and near Marion, while severe hail damage was reported at Fort Atkinson, Iowa, south of Decorah.

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