Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 13, 2005

Heavy winds, rain destroy shed, down trees, and leave many without power

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

Thunderstorms that rolled through early Wednesday left parts of the area without power, flattened some small buildings, and left fallen trees on roofs and blocked roads.

The Winsted Police Department activated its incident command system plan, which included members of the police department, fire department, and city maintenance staff systematically checking the town for damage and downed power lines.

“There were trees on houses, and some houses had issues with power lines on them,” said Winsted Police Chief Mike Henrich.

He also said a large tree fell on a truck in the area of First Street North. Several homes had television antennas blow off the roofs.

Winds were estimated at a high of 70 miles per hour, and downed power lines left parts of Winsted and Lester Prairie without power for several hours.

Xcel Energy said more than 104,000 customers were without power in the metro area, according to KARE 11. About three quarters of those customers are in the west metro – the rest in east metro communities.

Rain in the area was heavy — two to three inches total — but some southern Minnesota counties saw much more water.

Mike Navratil of rural Winsted said he felt his home on Ireland Avenue shake, and then the power went out. He went to his garage to get a flashlight and when he opened the door to the garage he was met with tree branches in his face.

A large tree had crashed onto Navratil’s garage, damaging several of the roof trusses and even making its way through the garage roof.

“Nothing was damaged inside the garage, except the truck had a small dent in it,” Navratil said.

South of Winsted on McLeod County Road 1, Shawn Dalmersheim saw a large shed on his property blown apart by the wind. Dalmersheim, who stores and works on classic boats, said he was lucky it was the time of the year most of the boats are not in storage.

At this point, he is not sure if he is going to completely rebuild his shed, but he said he’d do what it takes try to keep him in business.

Steve and Sue Goebel, who live just west of Winsted, also had the roof of their shed blown off by the strong winds.

According to McLeod Cooperative Power, about 4,300 of its customers were without power, but of them for less than three hours. Customers in the Watertown, New Germany, and Winsted areas had power restored by mid-afternoon Wednesday.


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