Powerful Winds Rip Through North Branch, Other Cities

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 9:25 pm

After the intense straight line winds that passed through east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin back on July 1, we know the devastation of such storms can actually be worse than a tornado.

Although a storm with similar power passed through North Branch on Tuesday morning, the devastation wasn’t quite as bad as it was in Wisconsin just one month ago.

The Chisago County Sheriff’s Department reports storm damage in North Branch, Cambridge and Harris. High winds up to 60 mph knocked down trees, and damaged some homes and roofs. Power was lost in many locations, but residents in those towns still had access to businesses that were fully functioning and many also had power restored quickly.

We initally reported that about 7,000 East Central Energy members were without power, but as of nightfall on Tuesday that number had dipped to 3,000.

A smaller amount of outages have been reported in Wisconsin in Washburn and Douglas counties, but road closures are delaying the restoration process.

The following photos were taken in North Branch during the very early stages of cleanup on Tuesday. Residents there described the wind as sounding like a train passing by.

The Trinity Lutheran Cemetery is located in North Branch, and many trees were downed on the grounds.

A large tree was down across one of the paths in the cemetery.

Many homes had been contacted by falling trees.

The wind had amazing power, moving the earth as the trees were toppled.

The damage was less pronounced on the east side of North Branch, but we did spot one large tree that snapped in half near one of the parking lots at the high school.

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