During the height of Saturday’s thunderstorm power was knocked out to most of north Brainerd.
It wasn’t the severe weather that caused the outage, however, but a wayward vehicle in an alley near Laurel and Southeast 13th streets, Scott Magnuson, Brainerd Public Utilities acting superintendent, said Monday.
Magnuson said during the height of the storm the vehicle struck a main power feeder — one of five in the city — behind the BNSF Railway shops, breaking an insulator off the top and dropping the line on one side.
The outage was reported at 11:05 p.m. Power was out for about an hour and 40 minutes for most of north Brainerd and parts of downtown.
“It was a big chunk,” Magnuson said. “Once we were able to find the problem it went well getting a new insulator up.”
It also didn’t help that BPU crews had to work in a downpour.
The DNR Forestry field office in Brainerd measured 1.67 inches of rain. About 2.15 inches of rain was reported at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. Steve Gohde, observing program leader at the National Weather Service in Duluth, said Brainerd was right on the edge of the heaviest rainfall, which was centered over southern Crow Wing County, specifically the Fort Ripley area, where as much a 5 inches of rain was reported.
Using Fort Ripley as the epicenter, Gohde noted rainfall amounts were less in every direction — 1.45 inches at the Gull Lake Dam to the north, 1.95 inches in Little Falls to the south, 1.44 inches in Staples to the west and 2.2 inches in Mora to the east.
Still, there was plenty of rain to go around, Gohde said.
“You guys have been wet, wet, wet, ever since winter,” Gohde said. “We can’t get that Mississippi River to go down, which I guess isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
During the thunderstorm several areas were in flood advisories and flood warnings were issued for the Long Prairie River in Todd County.
In Brainerd the police received two reports of basements being flooded during the thunderstorm. The Morrison County Sheriff’s Department received several reports of washed out roads.
Stan Dobosenski Jr., a Fort Ripley Township supervisor, said between 4 to 5 inches of rain fell Saturday and there was water over Koering Road South in two locations. The flooding problem has been exacerbated by beaver dams along culverts, he said.
“Hopefully it won’t wash out but it’s kind of sketchy,” Dobosenski said. “It is what it is. You can’t control the weather.”
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.