A wide line of severe thunderstorms ripped across northern Minnesota early Thursday morning, leaving thousands in its wake without power. The storms started in North Dakota and made their way across the state, cutting a wide swath of damage, said Mike Stewart, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth. Widespread damage was reported in Cass and Aitkin counties locally, along with portions of northern Crow Wing County. After hitting the Twin Ports area, the storms continued on through northwest Wisconsin and onto the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
A year ago tonight, a swath of the Brainerd lakes area landscape was instantly changed. Hurricane-force straightline winds destroyed millions of trees, snapping them off mid-stem, twisting and yanking them from the earth by their roots. The canopy that once provided shade and natural beauty was dramatically altered, its giant oaks and massive pines destroying power lines and structures and blanketing driveways as they plummeted from the skies.
BAY LAKE—Damaging winds that tore through the Placid Lake area south of Deerwood Sunday night were officially ushered in by a tornado. The twister, designated EF2 by the National Weather Service, was one of at least four confirmed in central and northeastern Minnesota as severe storms kicked up in the wake of temperatures in the high 80s.