Storm damage results in more than fallen treesFriday night’s severe weather wiped out trees all across Red Wing, leaving the area littered with broken branches and lots of debris.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Friday night’s severe weather wiped out trees all across Red Wing, leaving the area littered with broken branches and lots of debris.
According to the city’s Public Works Department, most of the damage fell in a strip that went from Woodland Park through the middle of town down to Colvill Park.
Ever since the bad weather struck, city crews have worked quickly to get Red Wing back to its pre-storm state.
“We started cleaning up Friday at midnight already,” Lynn Nardinger, deputy director of Public Works, said.
Crews have seen many trees split apart and others uprooted, in addition to dozens of branches covering the ground.
“There was some house damage and some vehicle damage but for the most part it was just limbs falling,” Nardinger said.
As the city continues its efforts to clean up the chaos, residents are encouraged to do what they can.
Paul Drotos, the city’s environmental officer, said having debris in the streets blocks the intakes to storm sewers — something that could wreak havoc on the area the next time severe weather hits.
“Once these catch basins are clogged, the next storm can cause flooded streets and basements,” Drotos said. “Most people already know that it is harmful and illegal to blow grass and leaves onto the street because of water pollution. But, when Mother Nature does it on such a grand scale, all we can do is pitch in to keep a bad situation from getting worse.”
To help residents easily dispose of fallen tree limbs and branches from their yards, the Public Works department will pick up storm debris along curbsides today, Thursday and Friday.
“We’ll send a couple of crews out so we make sure we get it cleaned up as fast as we can,” Nardinger said. “We expect to be done by Friday.”
More than debris
Trees weren’t the only things affected by Friday night’s bad weather.
At 3:30 a.m. Saturday, the Red Wing Fire Department was called to United Lutheran Church for a structure fire.
The fire department did not initially know the cause of the fire, but different aspects of the storm were suspected.
“It was limited to two possible traces,” Red Wing Fire Chief Tom Schneider said, adding that one possibility was lightning. “There are power lines that run adjacent to the building in the alley there and the other possibility was that the storm caused those power lines to contact the building.”
Ultimately, the fire department determined that lightning was not a factor.
“We did do some research and contacted the National Weather Service. There was no lightning in the vicinity at that time,” Schneider said. “It was caused by the storm and believed to be due to wind moving these power lines.”
The fire department estimated that the building suffered about $5,000 worth of damage.
The incident was not serious enough to hinder the church’s weekly schedule. United Lutheran held its regular worship services Sunday morning.