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Storms whip through area, flooding streets and knocking out power

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FARGO - Thunderstorms carrying heavy rains and strong winds swept through the area late Thursday and early Friday, causing street flooding and power outages in Fargo-Moorhead and possibly spawning a tornado in southeast North Dakota's Sargent County.

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The National Weather Service in Grand Forks received a report of a tornado at 8:35 p.m. one mile south of Geneseo, meteorologist Dave Kellenbenz said.

The weather service hadn't received reports of any damage from the tornado, and a team was headed to Geneseo to verify the tornado, he said.

Strong winds knocked down limbs that fell onto power lines in some areas, sparking a fire in at least one case in north Fargo.

About 4,100 Xcel Energy customers in south Fargo lost power at 10:10 p.m. Thursday for about 90 minutes, spokeswoman Bonnie Lund said. The outage affected an area from Interstate 94 to 32nd Avenue South and from I-29 to the Red River.

At the height of the storm, an additional 1,000 customers also were without power, Lund said.

Xcel responded to about two dozen storm-related outages late Thursday and early Friday and was still working to reach six locations at about 8:30 a.m., she said, adding the utility hoped to have service restored to all customers by noon today.

The weather service received unofficial reports of 3 to 4 inches of rainfall in southern Cass County, Kellenbenz said.

Following are rainfall totals from 7 a.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday reported to the weather service as of 8:20 a.m.

In North Dakota:

- Fargo Hector International Airport, 1.74 inches

- Five miles north of Lidgerwood, 2.38 inches

- Cayuga, 1.6 inches

- Five miles southeast of Arthur, 1.75 inches

- Havana, 1.12 inches.

In Minnesota:

- Breckenridge, 1.15 inches

- New York Mills, 1.72 inches

- Pelican Rapids, 1.76 inches

- Rothsay, 1.05 inches

- Sabin, 2.37 inches.

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