NISSWA -- After thunderstorms swept across the Brainerd area in the morning, briefly knocking out power to several areas, Sunday afternoon offered a rarity for the Brainerd area this summer -- warm weather and sunny skies.
And people throughout the area took advantage of the beautiful day to visit city parks, area lakes and campgrounds.
At the Paul Bunyan Nisswa Family Fun Center water park, the unpredictable weather this summer has often meant that the center couldn't open its three water slides. But on Sunday, the center was packed with families.
Baily Hastings (front) and Margaret Heggerston slid off one of the water slides Sunday at the Nisswa Family Fun Center. With the hot weather, the water slides were bustling with activity. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
"We need that warm weather. Hopefully it will stay warm now," said Patsy Slegh, Nisswa Family Fun Center manager.
Mary Jo and Ted Kline, of Plymouth, have owned property on Lake Margaret on the Gull Lake chain for the past four years and often drove by, but never stopped at, the Nisswa Family Fun Center.
With their grandchildren, Johnny, 5, and Emily, 4, the Klines on Sunday decided that the 80 degree temperature and sunny skies were reason enough to make an afternoon visit to the water slide park.
"So far they've been down the little slide," Ted Kline said. "They've been nuts about watching the big (slide) over there and getting splashed when people come down it."
Kline said this past weekend has been the first where the weather has cooperated for any sort of water activity. He said he didn't even put his boat in the water until July 1.
The timing just happened to be right Sunday for Kathy Buck and her family. Visiting from Ardmore, Okla., for her parents 60th wedding anniversary, Kline took the day to bring her four kids; 6-year-old twins Faith and Hope, 7-year-old daughter Melody, 7, and 9-year-old son C.J., as well as her friend, Allison, to the water park.
"They were begging to come today and it only costs $10 so here we are," Buck said. "The water's kind of cold, but that's OK."
Sunday morning started in quite a different manner, as strong thunderstorms brought high winds and up to 2 inches of rain to many parts of central Minnesota, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. The exact amount of rainfall in Brainerd wasn't available Sunday afternoon.
Crow Wing Power reported a few, localized power outages as a result of Sunday's thunderstorms, which rolled into Brainerd about 3 a.m. Lee Heurung, Crow Wing Power operations coordinator, said the outages mostly were caused by lightning and small tree damage.
"The damage was very small in nature. We had very few line outages. It was mostly in local neighborhoods," Heurung said. He noted most power was returned by 2 p.m. Sunday. "We never had large numbers of customers without power."
More hazardous weather could move across the Brainerd area Monday, as the NWS forecasted thunderstorms and a slight risk of high winds in the morning and afternoon.
Partly sunny skies are forecasted from Tuesday through Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. Thunderstorms are possible Friday night and Saturday.
Unlike last week, where high temperatures early in the week only reached the upper 50s, temperatures in the Brainerd area this week will remain in the low- to mid-80s through Saturday, the NWS reported.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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