A powerful line of thunderstorms packing heavy rain and strong winds late Monday knocked down trees and power lines, leaving thousands of Brainerd area residents without power.
The majority of the damage reported to the National Weather Service in Duluth was to trees and power lines in a widespread swath of Cass, northern Crow Wing and Aitkin counties, but there also were a few reports of property damage from the storm throughout the area.
Ted Tretter, who lives on Crow Wing County Road 45 near the Morrison County line, lost a pole shed that served as his machine shop, a television antenna and some shingles.
Tretter was home at the time but said he couldn’t hear his shop being blown away.
“All I heard was the wind,” Tretter said. “It was roaring so hard then a ‘poof’ came and I thought the windows were going to go. That must have been when the building went.”
There was a report of trees falling on campers on Mission Lake though no one was injured, said Kevin Kraujalis, meteorologist with the weather service. The weather service also received reports of damage to docks on the east end of Pelican Lake and a boat lift blown across a road in Breezy Point.
“It did pack a pretty big punch and the Brainerd lakes area got the brunt of wind,” said Kraujalis. Wind gusts at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport reached 60 mph at the height of the storm.
At the height of the storm about 2,200 Crow Wing Power customers were without power, said Char Kinzer, public relations manager for Crow Wing Power. By 9 a.m., she said only 300 people were without power and by 1 p.m. about 170 people were without power.
“It’s slow going at this point because the outages aren’t affecting a big area, but are in ones and two, scattered here and there,” Kinzer said.
Lydia Sasse, a Mission Township resident, not only lost her power but 10 to 12 large trees, including three that fell across her driveway.
“It wasn’t pretty this morning,” Sasse said. “I had to climb through trees just to get to the road so someone could pick me up to get to work.”
Sasse said it was fortunate no other property, including her house, was damaged by the storm.
Wind, however, will remain a concern, Kinzer said, and could lead to more power outages. The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a wind advisory until 4 a.m. Wednesday with sustained winds of 25-35 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.
Reports of tree damage from Monday’s storm included 12-inch diameter trees uprooted near Crosslake, trees down in Nisswa and a tree blocking Highway 18 near Garrison
There also were reports of hail and ponding water on roadways. The DNR field office in Brainerd measured .80 inches of rain fell late Monday and early Tuesday, and 1.46 inches of rain since Saturday. There also was power reported out in Aitkin County, the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Department reported.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.