Storm leaves about 10,000 without power in Grand Rapids areaA line of severe storms brought destructive winds to a wide swath of northern Minnesota on Monday evening, with areas from Bemidji eastward across Itasca County particularly hard-hit.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A line of severe storms brought destructive winds to a wide swath of northern Minnesota on Monday evening, with areas from Bemidji eastward across Itasca County particularly hard-hit.
As of late Monday night, about 10,000 Lake Country Power customers were without electricity.
“We have over 260 outages to repair,” said Tami Zaun, Lake Country Power’s public relations coordinator. “(Crews) will be working through the night.”
The majority of those without power are in the Grand Rapids area, where strong winds caused trees to fall on power lines, Zaun said.
Bemidji also saw damage from the storms, with authorities there advising emergency travel only in the city shortly after 7 p.m. because of trees and power lines down across the community. All phone service except for 911 calls was reported down at one point in the evening. Wind gusts in Bemidji were estimated at 70 to 80 mph.
In Duluth, the storms brought back bad memories of the severe flash flooding of two weeks ago as they swept into the Twin Ports after 9 p.m. But aside from a vivid lightning show, lots of thunder and some steady rain, there were few immediate reports of severe weather in Duluth and Superior. A large tree was reported down on Central Entrance at about 9:10 p.m., according to a National Weather Service report.
In the Northland, other storm and damage reports relayed by the National Weather Service included:
- Many large trees and power lines down, and some metal roofs peeled off in the Keewatin and Nashwauk areas of the western Iron Range at about 8:15 p.m. A Weather Service spotter in Nashwauk reported items for the town's Fourth of July celebrations "blown all over the main street in town."
- Large trees reported down in the Cohasset, Ball Club, Grand Rapids and Deer River areas of Itasca County between 7 and 9 p.m. Trees downed in the Ball Club area were up to 30 inches in diameter; trees were reported fallen onto cars in downtown Grand Rapids shortly after 8 p.m.
- Visitors stuck at Itasca State Park southwest of Bemidji because of downed trees blocking the park exit at 7:14 p.m.
- Golf-ball-size hail at Gilbert shortly after 8 p.m., with half-dollar-size hail at Mountain Iron.
- 60 mph wind gust near Meadowlands at 8:40 p.m.
- 2.25 inches of rain in an hour at Marcell in Itasca County, reported at 9:23 p.m.
- 55 mph wind gust on the Blatnik Bridge at 9:30 p.m.
The National Weather Service in Duluth reported just 0.22 inches of rain between 9 and 10 p.m. Monday as the strongest part of the storms moved through. The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District reported 0.73 inches of rain in its gauge at Scanlon for the day as of 10:15 p.m., with 0.29 inches in Duluth's Endion neighborhood and 0.25 inches in Hermantown. Rain continued to fall in those areas of deadline Monday night.