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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Tornado reported as storm hits northeastern Minnesota

  • A supercell thunderstorm moved across parts of northeastern Minnesota on Thursday night, dropping large hail, downing trees and apparently spawning a tornado.
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  • A supercell thunderstorm moved across parts of northeastern Minnesota on Thursday night, dropping large hail, downing trees and apparently spawning a tornado.
    Trained weather spotters reported a tornado near Remer in Cass County, and just north of Minnesota Highway 200 west of Hill City, at about 6:30 p.m., the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. Hill City is in northern Aitkin County, south of Grand Rapids and about 70 miles west of Duluth.
    The Aitkin County Sheriff's Office said it had reports of a few trees down south of Hill City. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reported trees down in the Remer area, but no immediate reports of property damage or injuries.
    Patrons and workers at Harry’s Bar in Hill City headed to the basement when cellphones and the town siren warned about a possible tornado. The manager at Harry’s said there was some coin-sized hail, but there didn’t seem to be much wind damage in town. The weather service received a report of golf ball-sized hail near Hill City, as well as trees down at Big Sandy Lake, Rice Lake and in the Lawler area of Aitkin County.
    Lake Country Power reported nearly 1,300 customers without power late Thursday night, with Remer the hardest-hit area.
    The storm “developed pretty close to Bemidji, moved south and east and started gaining intensity,” said weather service meteorologist Kevin Kraujalis. Weather service staff probably will be out in Aitkin and Cass counties today to conduct a damage survey.
    The cell first prompted a severe thunderstorm warning just after 5 p.m., and continued to require warnings after 10 p.m. as it moved southeast into Pine and Burnett counties. A high school football game at Willow River between Hermantown and Moose Lake-Willow River was suspended because of lightning midway through the third quarter.

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