Funnel clouds reported near Conger

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, July 28, 2011

This picture of a funnel cloud was taken three miles west of Conger this afternoon after 2 p.m. -- Rich Mirelli/Albert Lea Tribune

ALDEN — Law enforcement officers responded to several reports Thursday of funnel clouds between Conger and Alden and just north of Albert Lea.

At 2:50 p.m., funnel clouds were reported north of the intersection of state Highway 13 and Interstate 90.

Several reports of funnel clouds sighted between Conger and Alden were received by authorities around 2:10 p.m. Conger Fire Department sounded sirens in that community.

Email newsletter signup

Mike Springer, of Blue Earth, was in the area working on telephone lines for his company, Bevcomm.

“I just stumbled upon it,” Springer said.

He was about four miles west of Conger when he saw the funnel cloud, but he didn’t know for sure if it had touched the ground.

A minivan goes through high water on First Avenue near the A-Lea Apartments Thursday afternoon after heavy rains in Albert Lea. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

Around 2:20 p.m. it was reported that there were no longer clouds touching down. Sirens sounded in Albert Lea shortly after.

The National Weather Service had forecast no severe weather for Thursday. There was a chance for thunderstorms in the late afternoon and early evening. It did issue a tornado warning until 3 p.m. for Freeborn County once the funnel cloud was spotted.

The storm that followed brought sudden, heavy rain in some places of Freeborn and Mower counties.

Main Street in Albert Lea was closed Thursday afternoon near Morin Park because of flooding around. A car, driven by Todd Drosland, stalled in the deep water and was towed by Allen’s Tow-N-Travel.

“I didn’t even see the water because it was raining so hard,” Drosland said. “The water went up over the top of my car.”

East Main Street near Morin Park reopened within the hour, but West Main Street near Godfather’s Pizza and Hanson Tire remained closed near the end of the workday.

Heavy rain also dumped over Brownsdale Thursday afternoon and slowly moved eastward. NWS reported the area received as much as 4.7 inches, and a flash flood warning for Mower was issued. Yet Austin received just more than half an inch of rain. NWS officials received no reports of flooding or road closures, after the storm. There were also no other reports of funnel cloud activity east of Freeborn or Mower.

This weekend’s weather looks to calm down a bit, as it’s unlikely there will be storms, NWS Meteorologist Brian Adams said. However, he added there could be a slight shower on Sunday. High humidity will continue throughout the weekend, with heat indices as high as 100 on Saturday and Sunday.

Adams expects the humidity to break sometime after Monday but said temps will still be in the mid 80s.