by Nathan Warner
Severe weather that moved through Zimmerman Tuesday downed trees and cut power — in large swaths.
“It was just unbelievable!” said Nate Popple, who lives on Elm Street on Lake Fremont. “The straight-line winds came out of nowhere and the trees were tying themselves in knots.”
About one-fourth of the city’s homes and some businesses, including Bremer Bank, were left without electricity for much of the day, according to Dave Horvath, Zimmerman’s public works director.
Popple pointed to the remains of a once tall and proud oak now a limbless trunk as he carried his daughter in his arms.
“The storm is back!” she cried when a breeze rustled the trees, but Nate reassured her, “It’s just the wind. The storm isn’t coming back.”
In the residential streets around Lake Fremont, more than a few tall spruce trees lay uprooted and cast against the sides of houses. Many oak trees shared a similar fate with falling limbs, uprooted trees and general havoc damaging many properties in the area.
Horvath said the city’s clean-up crews worked around the clock to clean up and get things back put back together best they could.
Elk River: Less damage
The same storm, punctuated by straight line winds, also took down trees in Elk River.
Darren Wolf of Elk River had an ash tree land on his house. He had it removed by a contractor, and he felt rather lucky about it.
“He was taking the tree off of our house,” Wolf said. “At other places he was taking trees out of homes.”
Wolf had been at work when one of his children called to say the storm had downed a tree and it landed on their home.
“We’ll miss that tree,” Wolf said of the 40-footer. “It provided a lot of shade, which was nice — especially on days like today (when it’s hot and humid).”