Monday night another storm passed through the Boundary Waters. We experienced winds on the Gunflint Trail in the low 30′s and almost a half of an inch of rain. Luckily we didn’t hear of any injuries reported on our end of the BWCA and we didn’t lose power this time. Unfortunately elsewhere in the BWCA a couple of campers were injured when a tree fell on them. We’re hoping they have a quick recovery and that no other injuries are reported.
Late-night storms topple trees, injure campers in BWCA
- Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
- Updated: July 22, 2014 – 3:36 PM
The top wind speed reported to the National Weather Service came from Alexandria, at 59 miles per hour shortly after 11 p.m.
Thunderstorms carrying strong winds roared over the northern half of Minnesota late Monday and into Tuesday, knocking out electricity to thousands of customers and injuring campers in two locations in the sprawling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, officials said.
Two campers in a group of 17 from Louisiana near Lady Boot Bay were injured when trees fell on their tents about 2:45 a.m., according to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. First responders transported the two by ambulance to a Virginia, Minn., hospital for treatment of noncritical injuries.
The two were identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Hayden Toups, 13, of Brusly, and Kirk Sanchez, 47, of Port Allen.
Another group of campers about 10 miles away at Loon Lake were hit by trees later Tuesday, with some injuries being reported, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Friebe.
Emergency responders “are still getting them out right now,” Friebe said shortly after 2 p.m. While he didn’t have specifics on the number of injured or how badly, the sergeant added that medical helicopters were being used, so “they’re obviously considered serious.”
An official at the Superior National Forest office in Duluth said the storms were quite violent, leaving about 100 trees down along the highway that connects Ely and Isabella about 40 miles to the southeast.
Elsewhere in the state, power was reported out around 11:30 p.m. Monday for some customers as far south as Staples, with windy conditions also peeling away parts of rooftops in the Todd County community, the National Weather Service (NWS) added.
Also, hail was reported early Tuesday in Ogilvie and Long Prairie.
The top wind speed reported to the weather service came from Alexandria, at 59 miles per hour shortly after 11 p.m.
Minnesota Power and Lake Country Power reported a combined 20,000 or so customers without electricity overnight in the Duluth area and elsewhere. Nearly 2,400 remained without power in the Brainerd area well after sunrise.
Minnesota Power said snapped tree limbs and uprooted trees caused trouble for the utility in International Falls, Duluth, Eveleth and Nisswa, among other communities. Trees toppled easily because of the ground’s saturation from heavy June rainfall, the utility added.
By late Tuesday morning, Minnesota Power was still working to restore power to roughly 6,500 of its customers.
“This storm raked across our service territory rather quickly and then subsided about 3 a.m.,” said John Muehlbauer, a Minnesota Power crew superintendent.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482