Thunderstorms causing gusts of wind up to 85 mph(137 km / h), heavy rain and lightning strikes in Minnesota and Wisconsin have knocked out power to thousands of people.On Friday, power outages were reported in the US upper Midwest. Electricity was cut off to about 156,000 Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota and about 20,000 in Wisconsin after the storms passed through the states. “Most of this is related to the strong winds bringing down branches and trees and doing a lot of damage to the system, ' Xcel spokeswoman Patti Nystuen said. Nystuen added that some customers could remain without power into Saturday.
" The weather pattern is pretty much going to be stationary tonight and through the weekend, so we are concerned about the severe weather and also the potential for flooding, " said Jacob Beitlich, a weather service meteorologist in the Twin Cities.National Weather Service said that an area stretching from the Dakotas through Wisconsin was prepared for more storms, and possible flooding. It added that the storms started in the Dakotas and powered southeast through Minnesota into Wisconsin. On June 1, medical officials in Oklahoma State said that nine people had been killed in tornados that struck the state. "At this time, our office can confirm nine fatalities from last night's tornados," Amy Elliott, the spokeswoman for the state’s chief medical examiner office, said. "These victims include two children and seven adults,” Elliott added. On May 20, a killer tornado struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, flattening homes, two schools and a hospital. The storm has been described by the National Weather Service as the deadliest US tornado since the one that killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri, just two years ago. Also on May 15, an EF-4 tornado struck the US state of Texas, killing several people and injuring more than 100 residents.