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Storm-related death reported near Blomkest, other travel hazards reported near Willmar, Benson

Downed power lines were reported in Kandiyohi and Swift counties Thursday night amid widespread storms across Minnesota.

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BLOMKEST — Winds during a strong thunderstorm Thursday evening, May 12, 2022, damaged a grain bin that fell onto an occupied car, resulting in a fatality at a location two miles northeast of Blomkest, Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service.
No other details were immediately available Thursday night. Blomkest is located in southwest Kandiyohi County, about 20 miles south of Willmar.
A storm front carrying heavy rain, hail and strong winds swept out of South Dakota Thursday evening and into southwest and west central Minnesota, causing significant damage in areas including Stevens, Douglas, Swift, Todd and Kandiyohi counties.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported multiple overturned semitractor-trailers Thursday evening on Interstate 94 East near Alexandria. Strong winds were a factor. Eastbound traffic was being detoured at exit 103 at Alexandria.
State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow tweeted about 9:30 p.m. Thursday that troopers and first responders were still attending to motorists.

A tow truck works to right an overturned semi-truck on Thursday night, May 12, 2022, on eastbound Interstate 94 near Alexandria, Minnesota.
A tow truck works to right an overturned semitractor on Thursday night, May 12, 2022, on eastbound Interstate 94 near Alexandria, Minnesota.
Minnesota State Patrol photo

Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 issued a travel alert about 8 p.m. Thursday of downed power lines along Minnesota Highway 40, near Kandiyohi County Road 5 west of Willmar.

MnDOT District 4 reported Thursday evening that Minnesota Highway 9 east of Benson was closed between Swift County Road 25 and 31 due to downed power lines. Travelers were told to find alternate routes.

MnDOT officials advised caution when traveling through any areas impacted by Thursday night storms due to unforeseen dangers.

More on weather:

Kelly Boldan has been editor of West Central Tribune and in Willmar, Minnesota, since October 2001. He joined Forum Communications Co. in November 1998 as editor of the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer.
Boldan can be reached via email: or telephone: 320-214-4331.
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