September 21, 2018 10:19 PM
Cleanup is just beginning in Cannon Falls after storms caused widespread damage on Thursday night.
“It was just destruction all over,” said Jeff Grossman, who helped take down a tree that fell on his neighbor’s house.
He took shelter in his basement during the storm.
“You could just hear stuff flying all around upstairs and it was just black as can be,” he said. “Came out and checked on all of the neighbors, make sure everyone's okay, nobody was hurt.”
City officials confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that no one was injured during the storm.
Grossman’s neighborhood was blocked off in multiple places by downed power lines. There were also trees down on nearly every property.
Grossman worked alongside his neighbor’s son, Troy Johnson, all day.
“Knew what we had to do, we’ve don’t it before,” said Grossman. “Get to work and try to get it cleaned up.”
Johnson was grateful.
“The community just pulled together and they've been helping all day,” said Johnson. “Cannon Falls is a great community.”
The nursing home across the street was evacuated earlier in the day. Mayor Robby Robinson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there was a generator fire at The Gardens.
Residents were brought to the high school where a line of ambulances waited to bring them to their temporary homes.
“They found places for them in either Rochester or other nursing homes throughout the area,” said Robinson.
It is unclear when residents will be able to return to The Gardens, nursing home administrators would only say that everyone is OK.
Robinson declared a state of emergency Friday morning, hoping the city will get the financial help it needs to recover from the storm. It will be in place, he said, until at least Monday.
“It kind of changes everybody's life,” said Robinson. “It changes the landscape of the city.”
More than 1,600 people were still without power at 9 p.m. Xcel Energy said it hopes to restore the power by Saturday evening.
Frontier Ag & Turf, located on Fourth Street South, used a generator to stay open on Friday.
The high winds destroyed the storage building and ripped off the roof of its repair shop.
“It’s harvest season so that's a big deal for us to make that operational,” said Randy Nicolai, the store manager. “We will be OK very soon.”
He said they hope to have the roof restored by early next week.
“The shed that got completely collapsed, that can wait a week or two,” said Nicolai. “We’ll get it rebuilt before winter and it's mainly a big deal for us to use in fall before snow hits.”
His employees spent the day helping people fix their chainsaws and equipment needed to deal with the trees around town.
Nicolai said the damage could’ve been much worse.
“It's a sad deal but it's fixable, nobody's hurt,” he said.
Updated: September 21, 2018 10:19 PM
Created: September 21, 2018 09:44 PM
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