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Albert Lea, MN (KROC AM News) - Freeborn County may have taken the brunt of the storm that swept across southeast Minnesota Wednesday evening.

Sheriff Kurt Freitag says a tornado warning was issued for Freeborn County around 6:45 pm. Freitag says severe weather with winds gusting to 70 mph hit the county within minutes.

His office received its first report of property damage just before 7:30 pm.

Freitag says his deputies and area fire departments responded to numerous complaints of damage. The sheriff says the areas that received most of the damage include the cities of Hartland, Glenville, Conger, Alden, and Hayward. The surrounding rural areas also received damage to houses and other structures, such as machine sheds and barns.

Freitag says it appears Hartland received the most structural damage with several power lines down. So far, no injuries have been reported. Freitag says a National Weather Service team will be in Hartland Thursday to determine if a tornado or straight-line winds caused the damage.

Freitag also issued this message:

Unless you live in the city of Hartland or are there to help clean up, please stay clear of the city so you don’t inadvertently hinder cleanup efforts.

Widespread damage and power outages were also reported in neighboring Mower County.

Sheriff Steve Sandvik says the majority of the damage consisted of downed trees and power lines. He says power to Austin and large portions of the county was lost at approximately 7:45 PM. Multiple residences and outbuildings sustained major damage mainly on the eastern side of the county. Sandvik says no injuries or deaths were reported.

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