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Waves pulverize shore

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news Fargo, 58103

Fargo ND 301 8th St. S. 58103

Otter Tail Lake (WDAY TV) - Massive waves created by 50-60 mile an hour winds crashed up against the north shore of Otter Tail Lake today, sending water well over the shoreline.


We spoke with homeowners who watched in awe as the water rose out of the lake.

There is still a lot of standing water on the north side of the lake though much of it has receded.

There are a few broken trees, and docks that had to be retrieved from the water.

But residents we spoke to say after seeing what they saw today - they are surprised the damage wasn't worse.

"It was an absolute wall of water."

Looking out over this calm scene, it's hard to believe that just an hour earlier a windstorm sent waves blasting towards shore.

Ann Wilson watched as a six foot wall of water rose up outside her home on Otter Tail Lake.

Ann Wilson- Otter Tail Lake: "It was amazing, it was like the ocean."

The dock separated piece by piece as the waves came in, despite the fact that she had weighted it down with rocks.

The waves left lawns across the north side of the lake inundated with water.

Wilson can't believe her boats and jet-ski stayed where they were.

Wilson: "I watched the boat lift and lift on the boat lift and I thought please stay!"

Meantime, on the opposite side of the lake, Jack Pearson was watching the powerful storm through his binoculars.

Jack Pearson- Otter Tail Lake: "There were huge whitecaps and a mist over the water. It sounded pretty fierce."

He had to clean up a few twigs in his yard, but two doors down this birch tree snapped completely in half under the forceful winds.

Wilson says they are lucky they didn't see more damage.

Wilson: "I've never seen anything like it and I've been on the lake 14 years".

And just as fast as it started, it stopped.

By the time we got here from Fargo after hearing about the winds, it was a beautiful calm day and people were already back out on the lake.