MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The severe thunderstorms that ripped through the Twin Cities and eventually into Wisconsin Friday night have killed at least one person, authorities said.
The Burnett County Sheriff’s Office reported that an 11-year-old girl from Hinckley, Minn., was killed when a tree fell on her at a campground in Burnett County. A relative of the girl said lightning hit a tree at the campground she was near. The girl tried to run, but the tree fell and hit her. Officials in the area also said at least 39 people were taken to area hospitals with storm-related injuries. Most were treated and released, but three remain in critical condition at Regions Hospital and Luther Middlefort Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis.
The Burnett County Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is set up for storm victims in Siren, Wis. At least 12,00 homes in the area are without power.
A search is also underway along the St. Croix River for missing canoeists, authorities said. Straight line winds caused damage across Burnett County, mainly in Grantsburg, Siren and Webster. Numerous trees were down and widespread power outages reported.
Several roads were closed in Ashland County because of trees and power lines that are down. Xcel Energy is also reporting that more than 1,000 customers are without power in Sawyer County.
Police say that people without power in the Danbury, Wis., area will not see it for about three days.
Authorities say the Red Cross will be in Grantsburg and Danbury Sunday to distribute food and water to those affected by Friday’s storm. The St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin will also provide food and clean up assistance.
The Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest weekends for Burnett County, police say. The population grows from about 17,000 to around 80,000.