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North Branch Is Latest Victim Of Rough Summer Weather

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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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.

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