North Branch Is Latest Victim Of Rough Summer Weather

NORTH BRANCH, Minn. (WCCO) – It was another day of extreme weather with high humidity and powerful storms once again moving through the Twin Cities metro.

The extent of Tuesday’s damage was mostly north and east of the metro. In North Branch, there were several trees and branches down at Central Park.

Some pole buildings in an industrial park north of town were no match for straight line winds, steel rooftops peeled away like tin cans and all over town huge trees lost the battle. It’s been a season of weird weather that has many folks wondering what’s going on.

About 300 students were going to practice the finer steps of dance inside a steel pole building. That was until Mother Nature stopped their music. Winds in upwards of 70 miles per hour made a mess of Desaree’s dance studio, ripping off the roof and raining insulation and water onto the dance floor.

“The inspector is up there now saying the building shifted, so in that case have to tear down and rebuild. We hope that’s not the case because we want to get it up and open for the kids right away,” said Brett Harper, the husband of the studio’s owner.

Throughout North Branch, huge trees are clogging roads and resting on rooftops or pulling down powerlines. Danyelle Levoir’s yard is a mess of twisted timber.

“My fiance woke up and looked out here. Thought our big tree was hit by lightning and part of it fell on the house. From there we saw the back yard and that’s when we went to the basement,” said Levoir.

This weather year is turning into a season of extremes with above average snowfall, record high dew points and rainfall, topped off by the fifth hottest July on record.

Then another blast of straight line winds came through parts of the metro Tuesday morning.

Woody and Billie Walters have lived on Chain Lake in North Branch for more than 40 years. But, never have they witnessed the fury like on Tuesday. Their home and truck took direct hits. Suddenly they’re more than talking about the weather, they’ve got ample reason to curse it.

“We’ve had a lot more moisture this year and the humidity been way over the top from what we’re used to,” said Woody Walters. “It seems like it’s been more dramatic as far as the weather goes.”

And just last summer we led the nation in the number of tornadoes, with 113 confirmed touchdowns. So far this summer, just more than 20. But we’ve more than made up for the damage with all these straight line wind episodes.

More from Bill Hudson
  • Patsy Lokker

    You talked about the July 1st storm on your 6:00 news and mentioned only Danbury Wisconsin… I was without power for 12 days after that storm due to the severe damage done on the southwest side of Yellow Lake which is between Webster and Danbury, but I also know of major damage done south of Webster… on the Clam River … relatives of ours that live in New Richmond WI didn’t ever hear about all our damages up here, they said it was never reported on local stations and due to loss of many kinds of communications we couldn’t let anybody know. Being without power for almost 2 weeks after that storm I am just learning now that it was never reported…. and now that it is, I just want it to be reported right… Danbury WI was NOT the only area hit! Webster, Siren, Grantsburg, Webb Lake and other remote areas as well, were also severely hit with that same storm system… and I have heard there are people who have pictures and videos of tornadoes over Yellow Lake… maybe a little more investigation into that storm system is required. We live on 240 acres of family property and there is almost nothing left of some of the wooded acreage. I’m just asking for fair reporting…thank you!

  • Guy

    So where are all the North Minnapolis residents that are coming out to help?

  • North Branch Is Latest Victim Of Rough Summer Weather « CBS Minnesota

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  • On the Beat

    ” . . . I’m just asking for fair reporting…thank you! . . .”

    Sorry, but if we reporters don’t report something, it ain’t news.

  • Ben

    Can I just say this was some of the worst news coverage ever by not only WCCO, but FOX, KARE and KSTP. You say “several???” trees down… there were several trees down in my yard. Try hundreds of trees, and several roofs ripped off. The reporting looked as though, you all showed up took some footage and left.

    Pretty amazing how much you seem to just say “its out of the metro area, they wont care…” now maybe you dont feel that way, but based off the coverage, and just showing a blip on the screen yesterday when this was all going on, that is the impression myself and many others in our community got regarding your station.

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