Storms Cause Significant Damage In Beltrami County
Several severe thunderstorms began impacting the Northern Plains on the evening of June 28th, and continued to impact the region in the early morning of June 29th. Beltrami County was in the path of several severe thunderstorms which produced significant to extreme wind damage, especially across central and east central Beltrami County. Based on damage reports, peak winds are estimated to have been between 80-100MPH as the storms moved across Minnesota. Due to the extent of the damage and the recovery that is likely to take weeks to complete, Beltrami County has declared a State of Emergency.
Particularly hard hit areas in Beltrami County were along Minnesota Highway 1 and Highway 72. Numerous trees and power lines were blown down. Several barns and outbuildings were damaged or destroyed by the winds and falling trees. Power to 10,000 customers was out at the height of the storm. As of Monday afternoon, Beltrami Electric Cooperative was still working to restore all impacted customers. Beltrami Electric Cooperative was assisted by Roseau Electric Cooperative over the weekend to expedite the restoration.
Due to the extent of the damages and resources needed to clear debris, Beltrami County is compiling costs related to the storm response to determine eligibility for reimbursement assistance through the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Any township, city, county or state entity that had damages or debris clearance in Beltrami County from these storms is encouraged to contact Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Christopher Muller by email at email@example.com or phone 218-333-8386 as soon as possible.
Beltrami County has been working with the National Weather Service to determine the type of weather that impacted our area. While there may have been embedded tornadoes along the large-scale squall line (often referred to as a “bow echo”), the predominate feature to impact Beltrami County was intense straight-line winds. Widespread 80MPH winds with periodic gusts of 100MPH were likely. The most significant damage occurred between 5AM-6AM on June 29th.
Residents and visitors of Beltrami County are urged to use caution in the impacted areas. Due to recent heavy rainfall, the softened ground will allow trees to be prone to uprooting as well as damaged trees being weakened. Additional severe weather is possible between now and Independence Day. On July 4th at 1PM, the regularly scheduled testing of the outdoor warning sirens will occur. If thunderstorms are forecast or occurring two hours prior to or after the scheduled test time, the test will be cancelled in Beltrami County.
No injuries were reported in Beltrami County related to the storms.