MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The National Weather Service surveyed the damage from Sunday evening’s storms in Sauk Centre, which is in northwestern Stearns County.
When you read about the 75 to 90 mph wind speeds, keep in mind that when winds reach 74 mph, a tropical storm becomes a hurricane. So hurricane-force winds were hitting Sauk Centre for awhile on Sunday evening.
Below is the National Weather Service storm report.
Event: Damaging straight line winds caused by a severe downburst.
Wind speeds: 75 to 90 mph
Time: radar estimated to be between 8:08 p.m. and 8:25 p.m. Stearns County emergency management noted that power was lost in the town at 8:10 p.m., which is when emergency sirens lost power.
Damage: hundreds of trees in Sauk Centre were uprooted or snapped off with this line of storms. The survey noted that all of the trees were laying toward the east, indicative of damage caused by straight line winds.
Dozens of structures were also damaged in the town, though all of the structural damage was caused by falling trees. The damage in the town was extensive, with almost continuous tree damage noted from interstate 94 in the south to the Sauk Centre Country Club in the north.
Damage seen to trees, utility poles and billboards were consistent with what would be expected from wind speeds up to 90 mph. Unfortunately, power to the airport southeast of town was lost before the winds could be measured. However, the airport in Glenwood measured a wind gust of 76 mph and a road weather sensor near Alexandria measured a wind gust of 79 mph when this storm passed through those areas.