Saturday, August 11, 2007

Last Night's Storm: It Could Have Been Worse

Sometime between 1 and 2 in the morning today, I heard an enormous clatter. It was as if someone had thrown a king-kong-size garbage can or a load of metal siding into the street.

This morning my wife told me, as she was leaving to mind the store for her father, that a shed had blown over near Lake Wobegon Trail. That's what she saw, in the first and second pictures. Despite its appearance, it isn't a shed. It's part of a roof, I think. It could have been worse. As far as I have heard, no one was hurt.

Several yards near the intersection of Ash and Lake Wobegon Trail in Sauk Centre had debris deposits and broken branches.

Finding where the bits and pieces of building came from wasn't very hard. A neighbor of mine pointed out where the most damage had been, but I think I'd have been able to follow the trail of broken trees, crumpled metal, and cracked timber.

Seeing what happened to the trees, I'm glad the event missed the houses and housing in that part of town. I've heard two explanations of what happened: it was a small tornado; or it was straight-line winds, something like a downburst. Just how the storm re-arranged part of Sauk Centre will be discussed for a while, most likely.

The worst damage seems to have been at a car dealership, John Weis Ford.
  • Mr. Weis's new body shop lost part of its roof
  • Light poles are bent - one all the way to the ground
  • Quite a few vehicles are damaged
  • His lot won't be ready for use until the mess is cleared away
I'm pretty sure he has insurance, but this is going to hurt.

By the time I got there, a couple guys, one armed with a monkey wrench and tool belt, were starting work on the worst of the light pole damage.

This was around 10:30. Cleanup and repair were already underway.

Meanwhile, just west of the car dealership, folks one of the apartment buildings on Fairlane Drive were driving around a tree that had tipped onto about half of a driveway.

Back on the south side of John Weis Ford, the new body shop obviously needed 'body work' itself. It looked like a work bay on the east side was still in working order, happily.

Clouds off to the northwest promised a chance for more exciting weather, later today. The U.S. Weather Service bears that out. Can't say that I'd mind a little meteorological boredom, at least for today, but there's not much I can do about it.

There was some damage in the residential areas. That modern art sculpture, behind the pool in a back yard near Lake Wobegon Trail, was a trampoline yesterday. Again, it could have been worse. Another few yards to the east, and those folks would have had more fresh air in their house than they'd want.

By the way, have you noticed how much those new above-ground pools look like the old-fashioned cloth-bottomed ash trays?

You'd think that, with parts of a building ripped off and strewn across a thousand-foot swath, trees uprooted and branches torn away, this old branch would have been broken off: But no, Minnesota storms didn't finish the job this time, just like they left the work half-done before.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing.

Brian H. Gill said...

It was, actually. That roof made an amazing clatter - possibly when it hit the trees near Lake Wobegon Trail.

Anonymous said...

I went walking this morning - had a hard time with the downed trees (oaks!) blocking my path. Our immediate area no problem! But 5 miles away disaster - looked like straight-line winds did it. I like your photos. I'm going out tomorrow and see if I can get some for my blog too.

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