Minn. Freak Winds Trash Cars at Dealership and Rips 400lb AC Units Off Roofs

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP/WCCO)  A burst of strong freak winds has damaged almost a hundred vehicles at a south-central Minnesota car dealership.

Winds and heavy rain ripped through Kohls-Weelborg Chevrolet in New Ulm around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday May 23rd. Cars sustained broken windows, metal flag poles snapped like twigs and air conditioning units weighing nearly 400lbs each flew off nearby store ceilings like they weighed nothing.

General manager Doug Schablin says the storm hit without warning. He says the rain and wind “turned everything white.”

Within 20-30 seconds, Schablin says it was over. He says the wind blew out the windows of 70 vehicles and bent flagpoles at the dealership to the ground.

The National Weather Service says winds at the airport were clocked at 75 mph.

A Brown County sheriff’s dispatcher says trees and signs are down in New Ulm, but no injuries are reported.

Much of central and northern Minnesota and parts of southern Minnesota are under flash flood watches until Thursday.

7:59 AM, May 24, 2012

A flood watch is out for the metro through 1pm still today as more waves of showers and a few thunderstorms roll through. We have a few more waves of moisture moving up from the southwest during the day Thursday. Expect mainly rain. Source: CBSlocal.com

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