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Update: 82 mph winds reported in Monday's storm

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The tiki bar at the Harbor Bar was destroyed after a severe storm ripped through Pierce and Goodhue counties on August 27. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Foley2 / 14
Helping his neighbors, Karl Bakke of Red Wing cuts up a fallen tree on West Fifth Street on Aug. 27, 2018, an hour after a storm hit. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 14
A large tree fell on a house on West Fifth Street as a result of a strong storm on August 27. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 14
On Old West Main Street, a tree fell, bringing down telephone wires after a strong storm hit Red Wing on Aug. 27. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 14
Austin Hosfeld, 10, Red Wing, checks on his family's boat Aug. 27 after a storm knocked a large tree branch onto the boat. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 14
The extent of the damage became clear once the limb was removed. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 14
A road leading to the Harbor Bar in Pierce County was completely blocked by downed trees and branches on August 27. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Foley8 / 14
Near West Fifth Street and Buchanan Street in Red Wing a tree is being cut up by employees of the city after a storm caused it to blow over on August 27. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 14
Bay Point Park is closed following the Aug. 27 storm until city crews can remove downed trees. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia10 / 14
A Jeep is pinned underneath a large tree as city of Red Wing employees try to take off branches and remove it near Hill Street on Aug. 27. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia11 / 14
A tree limb smashed a car at Cleveland and Fifth Street, Red Wing. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia12 / 14
Red Wing residents came out in full force to remove branches, cut up fallen trees and sweep up the mess left by a strong storm that hit after around 5:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2018. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia13 / 14
On West Fourth Street, a tree has fallen onto a residence after a strong storm his Red Wing on the afternoon of August 27. Matthew Lambert/ RiverTown Multimedia14 / 14

A storm hit parts of Red Wing hard on Monday afternoon, causing damage in numerous areas of town and extending to the city airport across the river in Bay City.

The National Weather Service announced a tornado warning a little after 5 p.m. Aug. 27, lasting just an hour. The storm traveled quickly, crossing over Cannon Falls and Welch and reaching Red Wing by 5:45 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service Twin Cities Twitter account, Red Wing experienced a wind gust of 82 mph.

The National Weather Service Twin Cities Twitter account said on August 28 that after conducting their own damage survey, two brief tornadoes occurred just east of Nerstrand and in Vasa.

The account also said there was no additional tornadoes with damage in the Red Wing and Pierce County area, saying the damage was caused by "straight-line wind that were the result of a severe downburst."

Tom Blue of the Red Wing Regional Airport noted that he doesn't believe it was a straight line wind, but rather a tornado because of the path.

Blue said in a phone interview Aug. 28 that the airport was downloading security camera footage to see if it would show that a tornado did in fact hit the area.

Blue said there was only a handful of people at the airport at the time of the storm, with no injuries on site.

Blue said the airport suffered "extensive damage" and will require a few weeks to fix some of the damage. Roofs blew off the main hangar and a private hangar. There was also a hangar that is under construction that was blown down.

With over 30 years of work at the airport, Blue said he's never seen a storm like this. The airport is fully operational at this time, but the two main hangars are not accessible.

Areas like Bay Point Park had numerous trees down, with Old West Main Street needing to be shut down when a tree fell into the street.

There were two trees on the train tracks below Old West Main Street as well.

On West Fifth Street, residents took to the streets with their chainsaws to assist others who had trees fallen in their yards. Some trees struck vehicles and homes.

It is unclear if there were any injuries at this time.

Red Wing Fire Chief Shannon Draper said in a phone interview on Aug. 28 the department responded to a collapsed building at 6:45 p.m. on Bench Street. There was no injuries as a result.

Draper said the department, as well as police and public works, were assessing the damage initially to see where they could help. Draper said Goodhue County started to conduct a damage assessment Tuesday.

Draper said the coordinated effort between the departments was "exceptional" and the work done was effective in ensuring safety and helping clean up as well.

Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman said they saw no injuries as a result of the storm, saying there was only one person displaced from a home after a tree damaged their property.

Debris disposal

Jerry Plein, superintendent of public services in the Public Works, said in a news release that the Solid Waste Campus at 187 Bench St. will be accepting storm-damaged trees and branches at no charge beginning through Saturday, Sept. 8.

City crews continued to clear roadways and remove branches from areas in between Bench Street and West Avenue and from Levee Road to Maple Street only.

Residents in the hardest hit areas may place their debris on the boulevard for collection until Sept. 4.

The news release also announced the Bay Point Park will be closed until further notice due to extensive tree damage. People should avoid the park during the cleanup process.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

(651) 301-7873
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