23K Lose Power as Storms Hit N.D., Minnesota

Updated: 07/22/2014 6:19 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 10:34 AM
By: McKenzie Gernes

A line of severe thunderstorms with high winds and hail came through North Dakota and continued into central and northern Minnesota overnight.

The National Weather Service reported 69 mph winds at the Grand Forks Airport at 8 p.m. Monday. KSTP Morning Chief Meteorologist Ken Barlow also said Grand Forks had about 3-5 inches of rain in six hours.

In the Brainerd area, it's all hands on deck as residents work to remove trees from their yards and on top of homes. Fritz's Resort and Campground in Nisswa says dozens of campers were damaged in the storms, some were destroyed. Owners say more than 100 trees were knocked down as well.

Despite the flash flooding, no classes were canceled at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, according to spokesman David Dodds. He added that things were "pretty normal" on campus.

“The flooding was pretty bad for about an hour or two, then the drainage systems caught up with all the water and things returned to normal,” Dodds said.

As the storm traveled into Minnesota, a funnel cloud was spotted in Crookston, according to the National Weather Service. No touchdowns were reported.

The storm continued into central Minnesota, hitting the cities of Aitkin and Embarrass the hardest, Barlow said. There were reports of trees down, power outages and hail. Barlow added that Pequot Lakes especially had many downed trees.

KSTP viewers also sent in pictures from Grey Eagle, Minnesota, where high winds caused significant damage.

Power Outages

Minnesota Power Spokeswoman Amy Rutledge said reports of outages began coming in around 11:30 p.m. At the peak of the outages, Minnesota Power reported more than 10,000 customers without power in northern Minnesota, including about 2,500 customers in the Duluth Heights area.

Rutledge said the high winds and saturated ground caused trees to topple, falling on power lines and causing a majority of the outages. Nisswa was hit especially hard by the power outages.

Crews worked throughout the night and morning to restore power. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, there were 1,664 Minnesota Power customers still without power. See an interactive map of outages here.

Some customers were told their power may not come back on until Wednesday morning around 6.

Cary Schmies snapped this picture around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in Duluth as the storm passed through.
Photo: Cary Schmies
Storm damage in Grey Eagle, Minnesota.
Photo courtesy of Liberty Anne Kircher
Trees down in Grey Eagle, Minnesota after storms Monday night.
Photo coutesy of Liberty Anne Kircher

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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