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Radar indicates strong thunderstorm near Fort Ripley as north-central Minn. under severe weather watch

Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow unsecured objects around. Minor hail damage to outdoor objects is possible. Anyone outdoors, including anyone on or in water, should seek shelter inside a sturdy building or hard-topped vehicle, the weather service stated.

Lightning strike
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The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a severe thunderstorm watch shortly before 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, effective through 1 a.m. Friday.

The watch area includes Aitkin, Crow Wing, Cass, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties, among others to the south and west.

A special weather statement issued at 5:28 p.m. noted Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm near Fort Ripley, or 17 miles north of Little Falls, moving east at 20 mph. Hazards include wind gusts up to 40 mph and penny sized hail. This strong thunderstorm is expected to be near Fort Ripley and St. Mathias Township by 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow unsecured objects around. Minor hail damage to outdoor objects is possible. Anyone outdoors, including anyone on or in water, should seek shelter inside a sturdy building or hard-topped vehicle, the weather service stated.

A summary of the severe weather and flooding threats expected Thursday and Friday published by the weather service noted scattered severe storms were possible primarily south of Highway 2 and west of Interstate 35. Isolated storms are possible over the Arrowhead region and portions of northwestern Wisconsin.

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Hail and wind damage appeared most likely as a result of this severe weather. Storm timing was expected to be between 5-8 p.m. in the Brainerd lakes and surrounding area.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

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