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Worthington Hopes Lawmakers Will Help Cover Ice Storm Clean-Up Costs

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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WORTHINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – Four-and-a-half months ago, the city of Worthington was covered in ice.

The winter-wonderland-scene looked surreal in April, but the weight of the ice toppled power lines, trees and even a radio tower.

“It just looked like somebody came in and just started driving over the town with a tank,” said Alan Oberloh, the mayor.

In all, the city lost more than 700 trees, some of which had stood tall for decades.

Clean-up took about two-and-a-half months, and FEMA helped pay for about $2 million worth of the cost. Still, city leaders say they are $1 million short.

The mayor hopes the rest of the money comes from state lawmakers during a special session next month.

“It is really critical that we get that aid,” Oberloh said.

In the meantime, tree stumps are still being ground down to mulch during the evening hours in Worthington.

“Seven o’clock to eight o’clock at night, six days a week,”said Rusty Gourley, of Gourley’s Tree Service.

As of Thursday, crews are only about a third of the way through the 700 stumps that need to be ground down.

“It’s been quite a disaster,” Gourley said.

As for the radio tower that fell, one station still isn’t back on the air. But a new tower should be in place by October.

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