SPECIAL REPORT: Wind's Fear and Fury

Justin Liles
Updated: May 03, 2018 11:50 PM

For many Northland the damage from strong winds is all too familiar.  Two years ago the Duluth area got rocked by straight-line winds, leave a path of destruction.

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Island Lake saw damage to homes, John Thoreson said, “I’ve never lived through anything like this.  I am a little shocked.”

The storm ripped down power lines and left many without power for day.  Electrical crews worked many days straight to restore power.

In 1999, the boundary waters saw more than 400,000 acres damaged.  It’s estimated that 25 million trees were blown down.  The 2016 storm brought heartache to the area killing two and injuring many more.

Sometime it can be difficult to tell the difference between straight-line wind and tornado damage.  “When all the damage lies in the same direction, it usually means straight-line winds”, says Carol Christenson Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

To protect you and your family Carol says, “The first thing you should do is be able to get warning first.  Have a way to receive a warning.  It could be a NOAA weather radio, cell phone, or television.”

Carol also says to have a plan of action and practice that plan. 

If in a school, go to an interior hall crouch low, head down and cover the back of your head.  If you are in a house, office or store with no basement.  Go to the center of the building with no windows like a small room or closet and over your head.  If caught outside find a low lying area and lie face down covering your head. 

Also, avoid seeking shelter under a bridge.  If dangerous winds are coming, Carol warns, “People should always take warning seriously.  Whether it be a sever t-storm warning for straight-line winds or a downburst to a tornado warning."

You may only have a short time to react.  Please secure yourself, your family and stay safe.


Justin Liles

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