The second system that picked up strength as it moved north from South Dakota into the Red River Valley lost power as it approached Grand Forks. The National Weather Service said speeds from the second round of storms hit only about 35 mph in the city, with total rain counts from Tuesday’s set of storms coming in just below an inch.
The diminished storm was a relief for cleanup crews—it was expected to be worst than the first that moved into the Red River Valley early Tuesday morning. The first storm initially didn’t pack much power, but a “wake low” brought behind it wind gusts that hit 70 mph. Winds damaged trees, downed power lines and wrecked property.
“We really dodge a bullet last night,” Grand Forks Forestry Operations Manager MIke Fugazzi said of the second round of storms. “We didn’t need two of them in the same day.”
There is still a lot of cleanup, he said, with officials from both East Grand Forks and Grand Forks saying it could take two or three weeks to clear the city of fallen branches and trees. City workers from both cities were out Wednesday cleaning up after the storm.
“There is still a lot of debris,” East Grand Forks Public Works Director Jason Stordahl said, adding a few houses and vehicles were damaged by falling trees.
He said the roof of the VFW Hockey Arena was damage by wind, and bleachers and backstop netting was destroyed at Stauss Park. Roofing from the East Grand Inn also was blown off.
While there were some close calls in Grand Forks, no major structural damage was reported there, Grand Forks Police Lt. Derick Zimmel said. No injuries were reported in the two cities.
Crews are focusing on…
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