Citizens in rural areas of east-central Steele County were put on alert when the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning at 3:29 pm Tuesday afternoon (September 4). Radar had indicated rotation in a thunderstorm near Steele Center, south of Owatonna. The storm moved in a northeasterly direction and exited the county by about 4 pm. The city of Owatonna, itself, was not under the warning.

Mike Johnson with Steele County Emergency Management phoned into KRFO radio to report that no damage had been immediately reported. He also said there was no confirmation of a tornado that he was aware of as the cell moved out of the county.

Johnson also indicated that spotters would be on the watch through the evening since the weather service called for a tornado watch through 10 pm. Counties in the watch area include Steele, Waseca, Rice, Freeborn, Faribault and Goodhue in Minnesota, in addition to several in Wisconsin.

A flash flood watch remains in effect through 4 am Wednesday, September 5 for much of the same area including Steele County. Two to four inches of rain is possible with some localized areas bracing for the possibility of six inches of rain.


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