Weather Forecast


Sunday's storm knocks down trees, power poles in Douglas County

After the storms rolled out of Douglas County Sunday night, the sky took on a yellow glow during a hazy sunset.1 / 4
In Douglas County, Forada was hardest hit by Sunday's storm. Trees toppled onto Toby's Avenue Southeast in Forada and had to be pushed to the side of the road for drivers to get through Monday morning. Many large trees and branches were snapped and scattered across yards along the southern half of the county.2 / 4
On Pocket Lake, Craig and Deb Zens' home was damaged when a large maple tree fell on the roof during Sunday's severe thunderstorm. Falling trees damaged houses, sheds and downed many power lines in the area.3 / 4
At County Line Liquor and Meat on Highway 29 south, near Maple Lake, a section of the store's roof was peeled away during the storm. Employees were busy mopping and placing buckets inside the liquor store as water seeped in during the storm.4 / 4

After a weekend of muggy, sultry hot weather, severe thunderstorms bubbled up Sunday evening and left a trail of damage across Douglas County.

Hundreds of trees bore the brunt of the storm. Large trees were snapped and split during the gush of high winds.

The toppled trees landed on power lines, smashed into vehicles, blocked roads and left a giant mess for landowners to deal with.

Leaves and branches still littered many yards and roads Monday morning, along with the downed trees.

According to the National Weather Service, in the midst of the thunderstorm, wind speeds were sustained at 39 miles per hour with gusts up to 63 miles per hour.

Wind damage

The strong winds also pulled away a section of the County Line Liquor and Meat store's roof on Highway 29 South, near Maple Lake, and peeled off a layer of metal roofing and mechanical equipment on the Forada Supper Club building.

Along Toby's Avenue Southeast in Forada, many trees snapped in the storm and had to be cleared from the road.

There were multiple reports of damaged docks, sheds and other property from Miltona to Kensington, but most of the damage was along a path from Mill Lake to Forada, according to Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen.

There were no reports of major injuries.

Sy Lucas, a landowner on Lake Mary, reported tree and vehicle damage in his neighborhood.

"The wind, probably 30-40 miles per hour, blowing the rain was like a clear shade or wall blowing across the water and the white caps were a good foot high," he told the Echo Press.

Before the storm rolled in, the daytime high hit 90 degrees. After the storm, the temperature dropped to 65 refreshing degrees.

Power outages

At the peak of Sunday's storm, Runestone Electric Association (REA) estimated up to 3,500 REA customers were without power.

REA's Jim Hultman said, as of Monday evening, all power had been restored.

"Things were a bit wild," he said. "Overall we kept a steady pace all day."

Hultman said two crews from the Todd Wadena Co-op came in to help REA linemen restore power.

Alexandria Light and Power's general manager, Al Crowser, said their customers experienced very few outages.

"We really dodged a bullet on this one," he said.

Sauk Centre hit hard

Neighboring Sauk Centre was harder hit by Sunday's severe weather.

The city east of Alexandria lost an estimated 200 trees and 10 to 15 power poles, according to the Sauk Centre Herald newspaper's website. Downtown business signs were toppled and twisted in the strong wind.

Sunday night, the Osakis Fire Department responded to Sauk Centre to help survey damage and ALP sent a crew to help restore power.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133