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Damage to the Becida Cemetery was widespread. (Submitted photo)
Damage to the Becida Cemetery was widespread. (Submitted photo)

Monday night storm causes a messy mayhem throughout Hubbard County

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Hubbard County experienced a storm of massive proportions Monday night that sucked trees out of the ground, downed power lines and caused a messy mayhem throughout the region.

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Hubbard County Emergency Management was in contact with the National Weather Service's senior meteorologist Dave Kellenbenz, who said the storm produced 80 mph straight-line winds. Funnel clouds were reported four miles southwest of Bemidji but tornadic activity has not been confirmed in any of the damage, according to an Emergency Management press release.

No injuries have been reported due to the severe weather but Emergency Management reminds all residents to use safety precautions as clean-up and recovery continues.

Storm damage and power outages were still coming in Tuesday morning, but many Itasca-Mantrap customers were powerless until early Tuesday morning. Linemen and line supervisors were still out Tuesday morning assessing the damage, said CEO Mike Monsrud.

A press release issued by Itasca-Mantrap late this morning said:

"High winds caused numerous outages throughout the Itasca-Mantrap service territory Monday, July 2. At approximately 7:30 p.m., a transmission line outage caused a loss of power to the Pine Point and Osage substations affecting approximately 2,700 Itasca-Mantrap members. The outage lasted 20 minutes. An additional 50 outages throughout the service territory affected 2,260 members. Itasca-Mantrap crews worked diligently through the night and had most members restored by midmorning July 3."

The Becida Cemetery suffered major damage, said groundskeeper Stan Grdinich. He likened the damage to that of the Wadena tornado two years ago.

"We only lost one tombstone," he e-mailed. But trees were down all over the grounds in northwestern Hubbard County.

According to Brian Halbasch, Hubbard County Emergency Manager, the severe storm approached Hubbard County about 6:40 p.m. Monday evening. The northern portion of Hubbard County suffered the worst damage, including Itasca State Park, Becida and Rosby. Civil defense sirens were activated at 7:26 p.m. due to strong winds.

Halbasch advised that some roads could still be down to one lane but volunteers and public safety crews are working to open all roadways. He is also asking those who do not need to travel through the affected areas to delay travel to allow clean-up to continue.

Park Rapids firefighters were kept busy on two calls, said assistant chief Terry Long. One was a house fire on County Road 40 and one was a tree toppled onto a live power line.

Nevis firefighters were out weather spotting, said chief Kerry Swanson, but did not respond to any actual calls.

"The First Responders, we were taking trees off the roads so the park was open and people could get in and out. They have people up there now clearing the roads," Long said of Itasca State Park.

"They needed to get in and out to make sure everybody was OK," he said of the state park.

Temps dropped from a high of 94 degrees late Monday afternoon to 67 by later Monday night. The Park Rapids Municipal Airport measured just under a half-inch of rain.

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