Clara City clean up begins; state Highway 23 remains closed
CLARA CITY -- Residents in Clara City are busy cleaning up from Thursday morning's storm, but city officials remain uncertain when electric service can be restored and Minnesota Highway 23 re-opened in the community.
Storms packing high winds ripped through the community shortly before 7 a.m. and knocked an empty, 60-foot diameter metal bin at the Clara City Farmer's Elevator across Minnesota Highway 23. The bin fell over a main feeder line for Xcel Energy, cutting power to the community.
At mid-morning, Rich Leiseth, Clara City Elevator Manager, said Xcel Energy crews were busy with power lines clipped by dropped trees in the Montevideo area and had not yet been able to reach the damage in Clara City. The bin and conveyor line and catwalk that had crashed onto Highway 23 could not be moved until Xcel could reach the scene and make certain the power line was de-energized.
Reports from Montevideo, Madison and the Appleton areas also told of numerous downed trees, damages roofs, garages and sheds along with power outages. There were also reports of storm damage in communities along U.S Highway 212 in Renville County as well as portions of western Meeker County.
Storms also caused flooding in portions of Willmar including the Kandi Mall parking lot, 19th Avenue and Fifth Street Southeast, 10th and Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest, Sixth Street and Rice Avenue Southwest, and East U.S. Highway 12.
Numerous events were canceled in the Montevideo area and some businesses were closed. Those heading to Montevideo were urged to call ahead first. The TACC Center was being opened for those seeking an air conditioned shelter.
Read more about this story Friday in the West Central Tribune.