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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 03, 2012, 08:52 PM

Clean up in Bemidji far from over

Bemidji, MN (WDAY TV) -- Hundreds of Ottertail Power customers will have to spend the hot, humid night without power, after 80-mile an hour winds blew through the Bemidji area overnight. Tonight, the sound of chain saws has finally subsided. But there's still plenty to do.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ, WDAY

Bemidji, MN (WDAY TV) -- Hundreds of Ottertail Power customers will have to spend the hot, humid night without power after 80 mile-an-hour winds blew through the Bemidji area overnight. Tonight, the sound of chain saws has finally subsided. But there's still plenty to do.

Throughout the town of Bemidji, everywhere you look there are uprooted trees or trees completely snapped in half.

Craig Gray - Public Works Director : "I'm not aware of anything in the past decade that has been to this magnitude. "

Public Works Director Craig Gray was in a city council meeting last night when the storm hit.

Craig Gray: "What we heard and seen, looked like 70 to 80 mile an hour straight line winds that came through."

Jordan Premo says during the storm, he couldn't seen across the street from his house, and only became aware of how much damage was done until it was over.

Jordan Premo - Witnessed the Storm: "My family was pretty terrified. The doors were blowing open, so I was pretty concerned about holding the house together. "

Ottertail Power has called in crews from as far away as Jamestown to help restore electricity. It's estimated half of Bemidji lost power for some time last night.

By late this afternoon, Ottertail estimated at least 1,500 of its customers were still without power. Most of the damage was caused by fallen trees.

Craig Gray: "Twenty-four to thirty-six diameter trees that down, so we are going to spend the next couple of weeks cleaning up. "

Daniel Eckstros is like thousands of people here who are dealing with fallen trees.

Daniel Eckstros - Lost Several Trees: "That one snapped off, these two uprooted and that is the extent of our damage."

The Diamond Point city park in Bemidji had half of its large trees blown down.

Kevin Waldenhausen - Bemidji City Council: "This is really the crown jewel of our city and it you look around it's not even a diamond in the rough."

The park just got a $4 million renovation.

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