NICOLLET, Minn. (KMSP) - A tornado touched down briefly near Nicollet, Minnesota just before 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, with officials in the area calling for residents to take cover immediately before two other touchdowns were preliminarily confirmed nearby and at least three more cut a path toward the Twin Cities metro.
The National Weather service announced the first touchdown just northwest of Mankato in a tweet, citing law enforcement in the area that saw the funnel.
4:52 PM: Law enforcement in Nicollet Co. reports tornado on ground just E of Nicollet near Hwy 99. Take cover now! #mnwx— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) August 16, 2017
Pictures and video posted to Twitter by users in the area show the first touchdown in a rural area about 3 miles south of Nicollet, with the national weather service confirming another tornado on the ground just north of New Sweden near Highway 22 and County Road 111 around 5:35 p.m.
The third touchdown was announced near the line between Nicollet and Sibley Counties, moving north at speeds up to 20 miles per hour toward the towns of Gaylord and Winthrop.
5:42 PM: Spotter reports tornado on ground near Hwy 22 at Nicollet and Sibley Co. line, moving N. #mnwx— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) August 16, 2017
Another touchdown! pic.twitter.com/tVMnF2fUuL— Brandon Lewis (@Brandon_L_Lewis) August 16, 2017
A tornado warning was issued previously for the area that expired at 5:45 p.m., with the storm tracking northwest at speeds close to 30 miles per hour.
A new warning was then updated for Sibley County until 7:30 p.m., with the tornado moving northwest past Highway 22 over Winthrop, Minn., and another touchdown near Gaylord, Minn. moving at 15 mph along a similar path.
The same line of storms is working its way across the Twin Cities metro area over the course of the evening, bringing with it heavy rain and the potential for more tornadoes.
Another tornado warning for Scott, Carver and Hennepin Counties was issued until 8:30 p.m., though it was cancelled a little after 8:00 as the storm's rotation weakened. Shortly beforehand a fifth touchdown was confirmed near Prior Lake just as radar indicated flying debris in the funnel.
7:47 PM: Radar confirmed tornado near Prior Lake. Radar is indicating flying debris. Take cover now in Prior Lake and points north! #mnwx— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) August 17, 2017
The NWS also announced over three inches of rain along most of the storm's path, with up to 4 1/2 inches in some places.
One farm just south of Nicollet was damaged from the tornado and crews in Sibley County confirmed at least four barns damaged in between Nicollet and Gaylord.
This is a developing story we will update as more information becomes available.