Chuck Burford of rural Brainerd is a disabled Vietnam veteran and has been in the middle of a battle zone.
A battle zone is precisely what his yard and house resembled this morning, he said today.
A tree became embedded in the roof of his one-year-old home Wednesday morning as a result of the ice storm. Branches and other debris are strewn about his Grave Lake neighborhood, located about 10 miles east of Brainerd off Highway 18.
Many of his neighbors have lost trees as well, he said. The neighborhood lost power from about 8 a.m. until midnight last night.
Burford's wife, Lillian, and the couple's two dogs were in bed at about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday when the tree hit their roof just above their bedroom. She wasn't injured when the tree hit their home. Chuck Burford was drinking coffee in the four-season porch on the opposite side of the house when the tree shook the house.
"It carved its niche," said Burford, of the tree. "She shouted. She thought the lightning hit awful close."
As of 7 a.m. today, Crow Wing Power reported about 3,000 of its customers remained without power because of Wednesday's ice storm. Line crews worked throughout the night repairing downed power lines and broken power poles and they will continue to work around the clock until all is restored, said Char Kinzer, a Crow Wing Power spokesperson.
The power company reported it has enlisted the help of 20 additional line crews from other utilities around the state. Still, some homeowners may remain without power until Friday, said Kinzer.
Kinzer said people are urged to exercise extreme caution, stay away from downed power lines and report any dangerous situations to their power company.
Downed power lines and trees were reported throughout the Brainerd lakes area today.
A tree fell Wednesday on Chuck and Lillian Burford's new home on Grave Lake on Highway 18 about 10 miles east of Brainerd. The Burfords said eight other homes on their road experienced downed trees in Wednesday's ice storm. (Dispatch Photos by Nels Norquist)
A Baxter woman and her 13-year-old daughter reportedly suffered minor injuries Wednesday when their vehicle went into the ditch on Highway 210 West at Golf Course Road, the Baxter Police Department reported. Icy road conditions may have contributed to the accident.
The driver was Justin Specht, 15, Baxter. He was not reported injured. Passengers Jennifer Jones, 31, Baxter, and Jolene Specht, 13, Baxter, were treated at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd for minor injuries.
The accident was reported at 5:13 p.m. Wednesday.
A Monticello woman suffered minor injuries in a one-vehicle rollover that occurred just after 6 p.m. Wednesday five miles north of Fort Ripley on Highway 371.
Carla Marie Doty (Johnson), 30, Monticello, was transported to St. Joseph's Medical Center, according to the State Patrol. St. Cloud Hospital reported today she was in fair condition.
Other minor accidents were reported Wednesday. A vehicle slid into the guard rails on the Rice Lake bridge in northeast Brainerd about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department reported.
The rain should continue Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
The wet weather is a break for Minnesota, which earlier in the week had a rash of grass fires because of dry conditions, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Zaleski.
"We went from brown to quite a bit of green in just 48 hours," said Zaleski.
(This story contains information from the Associated Press.)
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