July is giving Minnesotans a boost with plenty of sun and mild temperatures after June produced record breaking severe weather. On the evening of Friday, June 25th tornadoes were reported near New Ulm and south east of Revere. Straight line winds downed trees around the Twins Cities metro area. Falling branches and golf ball size hail did a number on roofs. Heavy rains caused flooding that shut down parts of I-35W and Highway 169 which caused many folks to abandon their cars and wade through as much as three feet of water.
If that weren't enough, Saturday brought Round 2, knocking out power to nearly 6,000 residents across the metro. While the lightning put on an incredible show, it also caused quite a bit of damage. A couple of houses were struck by lightning, most notably local news personality Jason DeRusha from WCCO. Scary stuff. We're glad the DeRushas are all okay and don't envy the storm repairs that they, and others, have ahead of them. Pretty ironic, considering that that week was NOAA Lightning Safety Week.
Tornado Recovery Already Underway in Southern Minnesota
Many Minnesotans are still reeling from the June 17th record-setting tornadoes that killed three people across the state. Eighteen twisters were reported that day, including the F4 tornado that leveled homes and businesses in Wadena. A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 6 counties. FEMA officials spent time surveying the damage in Wadena and several other counties in southern Minnesota affected by tornadoes, and damage reports were sent to the governor and to Washington for review. On July 2, Barack Obama approved the request for federal assistance which would allocate aid for the repair of public areas as well as allow government agencies and nonprofits the opportunity to apply for grants. Residents have already started their recovery efforts and claims processes with their insurance companies.