Several fires and an extensive power outage are being blamed on a brief but powerful thunderstorm that rolled across Crow Wing County Wednesday.
The high temperature in Brainerd on Wednesday was 87, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. About 4:30 p.m. a cold front moved across the area, bringing with it brief high winds, lightning, thunder and rain.
About 5:15 p.m. lightning struck a house on Central Street in Jenkins, about a block from Highway 371. Pequot Lakes Fire Chief Tom Nelson said the house, which was abandoned, was a complete loss. The fire was aided by high winds, said Nelson. Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to an occupied residence next door and extinguished the blaze in about an hour, Nelson said.
Crow Wing County Sheriff's Sgt. Chad Paulson said there were sporadic reports of trees downed by the strong winds.
Crow Wing Power reported extensive damage to its electrical wires and poles as a result of the storm in the areas of southern Pelican Lake, Crosslake and Emily.
In addition to Crow Wing County, severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for several area counties, including northern Cass, northern Aitkin, Morrison, Mille Lacs and Kanabec. The NWS reported wind speeds of 68 mph were recorded about 5:25 p.m. in Lastrup. Tornadoes were reported in Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties, the NWS reported.
With the cold front having passed over the area, temperatures Thursday are expected to be lower at 45-50 degrees, the NWS reported. There also is a chance of rain showers Thursday morning.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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