Midwest storm causes flooding, knocks out power

Stormy weather across the Midwest on Saturday knocked out power to more than 14,000 customers and flooded homes and roads in South Dakota and Minnesota.

April 8, 2001 — Stormy weather across the Midwest on Saturday knocked out power to more than 14,000 customers and flooded homes and roads in South Dakota and Minnesota.

The Omaha, Neb., Capitol Building was damaged by 60-79 mph winds, Associated Press reported on Saturday. The wind also damaged homes and businesses in the area and caused power outages throughout the eastern half of Nebraska.

The wind blew over tractor-trailer rigs in Minnesota and Iowa, and about 12,000 customers lost power in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Xcel Energy said.

An estimated 5,000 customers were blacked out in Iowa, Alliant Energy reported.

Omaha Public Power District said about 2,000 customers were without power Saturday night.

In North Dakota, where cities had been reinforcing levees and piling sandbags in anticipation of floods caused by melting snow, up to 2 inches of rain fell from late Friday into early Saturday. The National Weather Service posted flash flood warnings for counties in the eastern part of the state.

Fargo was in a state of emergency Saturday, with Army Corps of Engineer members building dikes.

At Grand Forks, N.D., the Red River is expected to crest at around 44 feet on April 18 or 19; by comparison, during the devastating flood of 1997 in which thousands of water meters were wiped out and an entire downtown area was submerged, the river had peaked at more than 54 feet.

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