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'It Was Just Nuts': Severe Storms Leave Residents With Damage, Debris, And Outages

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - It's cleanup day for many in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin after a strong line of storms moved through in the early morning hours Friday.

The National Weather Service confirmed 3 tornadoes, one in Burnsville, another in Apple Valley and at third in Le Seur County. All three were rated EF0.

John Marshall is the regional vice president of community relations and foundation at Xcel Energy. He said about 110,000 customers lost power following the storms. As of Saturday morning 96% of outages have been restored. Marshall says the company is confident that 99% will be restored by the end of Saturday.

"This was a unique one. I don't think anybody was expecting this type of weather," said Marshall. "We plan for it year round, have logistics always in preparation. Crews are at the ready and equipment's and trucks ready to roll. We were ready early morning on Friday, we were watching it, monitoring it and prepared for it. Right at the crack of dawn we had crews in the field out doing restoration work."

Marshall said the hardest hit area from the storms is the core metro area and Western Wisconsin, specifically the Hudson area. Hudson Public Schools canceled classes Friday due to the electrical outages and the number of trees blocking roadways in the area.

In Richfield, Tom Lasserud described the storm as a loud train sweeping through the neighborhood.

"It was just nuts, both trees were down in the street. You couldn't get by," said Lasserud.

Next door to Lasserud's home, a tree was uprooted. Across the street, a house was damaged from a fallen tree.

Other Richfield residents did not sustain storm damage, however they've been without power for at least 35 hours. Christy Katagiri said she was fortunate to get help from a neighbor.

"They're wonderful, they have a nice generator. We plugged in the fridge so we weren't losing food and stuff," said Katagiri.

Residents were not prepared for Fridays storm.

"Powers gone out a couple of hours at a time, but never for a day and a half," said Morgan Cawley.

Cawley admits the power outage was a small blessing in disguise because it made for quality family time.

"It has been nice not having any electronic devices or distractions," said Cawley.

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