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Nisswa Fire Department reports empty station as crews respond to round 2 of storms

High temperatures may have stoked the winds that followed.

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Post made on the Nisswa Fire Department facebook page Monday, June 20 at 8:36 p.m.
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NISSWA — Only weeks after a Memorial Day storm downed trees and damaged buildings throughout the area, the Nisswa and Lake Shore areas suffered storm damage yet again the evening of Monday, June 20.

Nisswa Fire Department's Facebook page reported that they had an empty fire hall after the storms blew through. The fire crew was out responding to trees on power lines and across roads.

Meteorologist Krystal Kossen with the National Weather service in Duluth said a storm front colliding with hot, humid air from the south caused the high winds that swept through the area. Storms also brought torrential rain, thunder and lightning, prompting the weather service to issue severe thunderstorm warnings and sirens to sound.

Nisswa Fire Chief Shawn Bailey said his crew spent the night responding to downed trees causing hazards throughout his fire district. They spent over four hours clearing debris from power lines and roads.

"A lot of roads were blocked," Bailey said. "I would say Lake Shore was probably the hardest hit. We cleared the roads in Lake Shore for about two and a half hours, then we moved to Nisswa for a while, and throughout the night we had numerous calls about trees in power lines and so forth."

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The storms that popped up quickly after 8 p.m. followed a scorching day of temperatures near 100 degrees across the area. The Brainerd Dispatch reported that by Gull Lake, numerous reports of power lines down and trees blocking roadways peppered the police scanner. A Cass County responder reported he was blocked in at his location by trees and could not immediately help with responses.

Both Cass and Crow Wing County dispatchers were receiving such a high volume of calls in the immediate aftermath, they were heard asking emergency responders to keep notes because they could not record them fast enough, the Dispatch reported. At 8:16 p.m., a Cass County dispatcher relayed information from the weather service noting wind gust speeds reached 70 mph.

Crow Wing Power reported the storm came up quickly, mimicking the recent Memorial Day storm, the Dispatch said. Severe weather Monday night left more than 10,000 customers without power, the electrical cooperative said on its Facebook page. Thousands of those customers were in the Baxter area, along with those in the Emily, Outing and Crosslake areas.

At 10:34 p.m., Minnesota Power reported 78 active outages affecting 10,670 customers, with many of those outages concentrated in the Gull Lake area.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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