FARGO — Severe thunderstorms blasted across southeast North Dakota and into western Minnesota on Monday night, June 7, knocking out power to thousands of residents and bringing much-needed heavy rain.

WDAY StormTracker meteorologist John Wheeler said the biggest concerns were torrential rains and damaging winds that could knock down branches.

There was a report of 2-inch in diameter hail in Streeter, southwest of Jamestown, where the storms developed and began to move eastward into the Red River Valley the night Monday. Some penny-sized hail was reported in Fargo.

Cass County Electric Co-op reported 40 outages affecting parts of south Fargo and West Fargo, leaving about 5,000 customers without power there and in southern Cass County and Richland County. The power was out near Walcott, just southeast of Kindred, starting after 10 p.m.

As of 11:13 p.m. Xcel Energy reported five outages in the area affecting 115 customers.

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Wheeler said winds or lightning were the likely causes of the power outages.

Winds in south Moorhead and north Fargo were reported at about 50 mph after the storm struck about 10 p.m. Barnesville resident Sherry Danielson reported strong winds around 11 p.m., and gusts reached up to 77 mph near Wolverton, Wheeler said.

Early rainfall totals about 10:45 p.m. ranged from about an inch to 3 inches in southeast North Dakota, he said, with the heavier early rain reports near Jamestown.

The rains were expected to continue into the night and move in the Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes area as midnight approached.

Wheeler urged residents to stay inside as the storms moved across the region.