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Minnesota girl killed in Friday's severe storms identified

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Minnesota girl killed in Friday's severe storms identified
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The identity has been released of the 11-year-old girl who was killed during a devastating Friday storm that swept across Northwestern Wisconsin.

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Mackenzie Klar of Hinckley died when a large oak tree fell on her, according to Mike Maloney, Burnett County medical examiner.

Maloney said she was playing on the playground at the Scenic View Campground in Spooner when the storm hit.

"The storms came up out of nowhere," he said. "She was running back to the trailer" when she was struck by the tree.

He said the tree, which was hit by lightning, was so large it took 20 men to remove it. The powerful storm system produced at least one confirmed tornado that touched down in Solon Springs and damaging straight-line winds of up to 100 mph that destroyed homes, knocked over or uprooted thousands of trees, led to the death of two and injuries of dozens of others.

"It's absolutely devastating up here," Maloney said. "I've never seen anything like this."

The man who died of a heart attack also has been identified. Kerry Richter, 51, of Webster, Wis., in Burnett County died after cutting wood and debris away from the road blocking access to his home.

Thousands of households still were without power Monday. Bobbi Sichta, emergency management director for Burnett County estimated that 4,500 homes in that county were still in the dark. Although Keith Kesler, Douglas County director of emergency management communication, hadn't heard from power companies because of the Fourth of July holiday Monday, he said Sunday's numbers for power outages in Douglas County were between 400 and 600.

"Today, I would expect that number to go down significantly," he said.

But because the number of outages was so high in Burnett County, "that has stripped some of the resources to help us," he said. "Their damage was significantly worse than ours."

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