Bridge Connecting Hudson To North Hudson Also Temporarily ClosedBy Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hudson Public Library in western Wisconsin is closed Friday after sustaining significant damage from early morning storms.

The squall line hit the area before sunrise with wind gusts reported as strong as 60 mph. Images posted online show that the winds blew out some of the building’s windows, scattering debris both inside and outside the building.

Severe external damage to the building was caused by a roof from a nearby pavilion that was ripped off by high winds.

Watch WCCO drone video of the scene below:

On Facebook, library officials wrote that the building’s lobby and children’s area were affected by the storm. The building is closed as clean-up begins.

In a subsequent update, a library representative said that nobody was inside the building and there were no injuries. People who want to help are asked to avoid trips to the building, since it is not safe.

“There’s a team of professionals on site managing the situation,” the library representative said in a Facebook post. “We will certainly want and need your support in the upcoming weeks.”

The library director said they do not know when the library will be able to safely reopen in person, but they’ll be offering curbside book rentals as soon as possible.

But that’s not the only Hudson staple that saw damage. Uprooted trees and branches littered the shoreline of the St. Croix River after the strong September storm. Still, the winds were no match for the people committed to cleaning it up.

“The roof of this building flew into the library,” Richelle Jader said while cleaning up.

Jader lives just five blocks away from the library. When her friend from the Chamber called for help, she didn’t hesitate.

“It’s a beautiful library. It will get restored,” she said.

Just a block from the library, trees and power lines lay near Lakefront Park just across the street from a popular restaurant that is also picking up the pieces.

The owner of Pierre 500, Andy Kron found half of his roof gone, along with some of the mechanicals connected to his kitchen’s ventilation system broken down.

“They said to come down and see what kind of damage had been done,” Kron said. “To see where we were this morning to where we are right now is pretty great.”

Parts are on the way and amazingly his place could open again as soon as tonight, with a sense of humor about all this small business owner has left.

“Between supply chains, pandemics, now natural disasters. I can’t wait to just get back to managing restaurants again. It will be a lot more fun,” he said.

(credit: Jamie Blomquist)

Hudson Public Schools canceled classes Friday due to the electrical outages and the number of trees blocking roadways in the area. A north Hudson resident, Jamie Blomquist, sent WCCO pictures showing damage to her backyard.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the Lake Mallalieu Bridge that connects Hudson to North Hudson is temporarily closed due to the power outages. It’ll be reopened when power is restored.

Across the St. Croix River in Stillwater, a number of schools also canceled in-person classes or delayed the start by two hours.

The early morning storms left many people in western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities metro without power. As of 7 a.m., Xcel Energy reported that it was working to restore power to more than 60,000 customers in Minnesota.

Liz Collin