Faribault County hit hard by severe storms
A severe thunderstorm roared through southern Minnesota last Monday night, causing damage in parts of Faribault County.
Winds estimated to be over 80 miles per hour and heavy rain hit around 6 p.m. Monday and uprooted trees, damaged some homes, flattened crops and smashed several farm machinery sheds and grain bins.
Heavily damaged were the cities of Elmore, Blue Earth, Winnebago and Easton. The towns of Frost, Bricelyn and Kiester received very little damage.
The Faribault County Sheriff’s Office says they had no injuries reported due to the storm.
However, they do report two semi-tractor trailer trucks were blown over on I-90, one to the west of the Blue Earth exit and one to the east.
The path of destruction seemed to start at the southern edge of the county and extended north to Easton, the sheriff’s department reported.
In Elmore, large buildings were blown off their foundations and ended in the middle of Main Street. Elmore mayor Bill Hurd called the damage to the city “severe.”
Blue Earth had dozens of trees or large limbs blown down, some blocking the streets. The same was true in Easton. Power line poles along State Highway 109, east of Easton, were toppled in the wind, according to the sheriff’s office.
Farms in the area between Blue Earth and Easton reported heavy damage as well.
“The only thing holding up my machine shed is the machinery inside,” Faribault County Commissioner Tom Warmka says. “Otherwise it would be flattened.”
Warmka also reported a lot of standing water in fields and some corn blown over, but said it is too early to try and assess the damage in the fields.
Damage to trees, grain bins and sheds was also reported to be heavy west of Blue Earth and northeast of the city, along County Road 11.
Many areas lost electricity and power remained off in some places through Tuesday.
Elmore’s mayor said people were upset but he tried to explain the situation to them.
“We can’t have the power turned back on until it is safe to do so,” Hurd says. “No one was hurt in this storm and I want to keep it that way.”
Clean up began in full force on Tuesday. The brush site in Blue Earth was opened all day and trucks and trailers full of trees and branches were hauled to the facility. The city announced it would be picking up any tree branches left on the curb at residences.
In Easton, a large group of volunteers including members of the fire department, were busy all day with chain saws, clearing out all the downed trees.
Weather reports for the remainder of the week were not promising, with thunderstorms predicted for every day through the weekend.