The blades of a wind generator at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s field research station just north of Duluth spun out of control on Friday afternoon, for a time prompting concerns from law enforcement officials.

The wind turbine’s brake apparently broke and strong winds were pushing the blade too fast with no way to stop it, said Lt. Tim LeGarde of the UMD Police Department.

“They aren’t able to stop it so it’s spinning really rapidly,” he said.

Northwest winds were gusting in excess of 30 mph on Friday afternoon.

LeGarde said UMD facilities management staff were talking with designers of the wind turbine to find a fix. As of late afternoon, UMD officials said the plan was to let it continue spinning on its own through the weekend. The turbine was only recently installed.

St. Louis County sheriff’s deputies for a time on Friday considered blocking traffic on Riley Road as a precaution in case a blade spun off the tower.