Thousands in Pine River area lose power during storm | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Thousands in Pine River area lose power during storm

Posted: July 2, 2012 - 11:30pm
Brainerd Spotted© member Shaun Stanich took this amazing picture of lightning and storm clouds around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. For more photos go to <a href="http://spotted.brainerddispatch.com/galleries/index.php?id=541058" target="new">spotted.brainerddispatch.com</a>.  Shaun Stanich
Shaun Stanich
Brainerd Spotted© member Shaun Stanich took this amazing picture of lightning and storm clouds around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. For more photos go to spotted.brainerddispatch.com.

More than 6,500 people were without power in the Pine River area Monday night after a powerful thunderstorm rolled across north central Minnesota.

Most of the damage appeared to be east and north of Pine River, said Char Kinzer, Crow Wing Power public relations manager. She said about 5,000 customers were affected by large transmission lines that were downed in the area.

“When we get a storm that can take transmission lines down, that’s a pretty strong storm,” Kinzer said.

Tornado sirens were sounded throughout Crow Wing County as the storm rolled across Cass County and clipped the northern portion of Crow Wing County. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth issued a severe thunderstorm warning for most of Crow Wing County about 8 p.m. Monday. Additional damage reports from the storm weren’t known Monday night.

The same storm caused widespread damage in Beltrami, Itasca and St. Louis counties, according to the NWS, with reports of winds in excess of 60 mph, large trees down, power outages, hail as large as 1.5 inches in diameter and minor flooding throughout those counties.

Kinzer said 10 Crow Wing Power crews were immediately sent out to survey and repair damaged lines and substitute crews were being called in. She estimated it would take all Monday night and all day Tuesday to restore power to everyone. The other 1,500 customers who lost power are scattered throughout the area, and it would take longer to get power back to those customers, she said.

MATT ERICKSON, Night Editor, may be reached at (218) 855-5857 or at matt.erickson@brainerddispatch.com