Cleanup continues after line of severe thunderstorms rumbles through southeastern Minnesota Wednesday evening

Cleanup continues and damage assessments are being conducted today after a line of severe thunderstorms rumbled through our KAUS listening area Wednesday evening, touching off several severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings and causing considerable damage with high winds.

Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik stated in a news release that the Mower County Emergency Operation Center opened at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, and the storm hit Mower County at approximately 7:30 PM. Wind gusts of 60 to 70+ mph were experienced in multiple areas of the county, including a reported wind gust of 84 mph near Grand Meadow.  

Sheriff Sandvik stated that the majority of damage in the county consisted of downed trees and  power lines. Power to Austin and large portions of the county was lost at approximately 7:45 p.m. Wednesday evening, and Sandvik stated that the emergency dispatch center, 911 and non-emergency phone lines exploded with calls reporting power outages, downed trees, and people with medical equipment that needed power to supply oxygen.

Sheriff Sandvik went on to report that multiple residences and out buildings sustained major damage mainly on the eastern side of the county. Thankfully, he stated that no injuries or deaths were reported.

Power to the city of Austin and a large portion of the county was restored during the evening, but there remains areas still without power at last word.

 Sandvik stated that Mower County emergency 911 dispatch, Sheriff’s Deputies, local officers, Mower County public works, Minnesota Department of Transportation, fire departments county wide, EMS services county wide, public utilities and power companies all assisted throughout the night to check for damage to residences and worked in concert to evacuate people from damaged properties, downed power lines, and clear trees and other debris blocking roadways. 

 The Mower County Sheriff’s Office is requesting that the public stay clear of areas with damage to allow crews to safely complete the task of clearing debris and dealing with downed power lines.

People with damage to report can send damage reports via email to the Mower County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at   [email protected].