MADISON -- Four tornadoes touched down early Thursday evening in Lac qui Parle County as a powerful, quick-moving storm system swept across western Minnesota.
The tornadoes, which were confirmed by local law enforcement, caused minor damage, according to a dispatcher with the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Office.
According to an initial survey after the storm, it appeared that no structures had been hit by the tornadoes, which were accompanied by heavy rain and dime-sized hail and caused downed tree branches and crop damage.
According to reports from law enforcement and trained weather spotters submitted to the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, a funnel cloud was spotted at 5:51 p.m. four miles north of Madison. A trained weather spotter reported a brief touchdown at 5:52 p.m. Thursday one mile south-southwest of Louisburg.
Then at 6:22 p.m., debris in the air was reported a mile north of Louisburg, and at 6:24 p.m., law enforcement reported a tornado three miles west of Dawson.
Diane Cooper, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, said there were "individual storms" that "moved into a larger system" as it moved west across the state.
She could not comment on the damage from the Lac qui Parle County tornadoes "until we can actually have people on the ground looking at it."
There were more funnel clouds reported as the storm moved west, with few reports of damage other than tree branches blown down. Winds caused damage to trees in Renville County, where tops were snapped off and limbs came down, according to the reports collected by the National Weather Service.
A dispatcher with the Renville County Sheriff's Office said a tree had blown down onto an Olivia city street, blocking traffic. Public works crews were called to remove the tree.
A funnel cloud was also seen by a trained spotter about three miles south of Paynesville about 7:39 p.m. Thursday.