Trees, roofs down in Park Rapids, Hubbard County
A powerful overnight storm hit Park Rapids and Hubbard County Monday night, sucking trees out of the ground, ripping roofs off structures and toppling power lines and poles like pickup sticks.
The National Weather Service planned to do a site assessment Tuesday afternoon to see if it was a tornado that struck.
Much of Park Rapids and the county were without power or phone service Tuesday morning. Park Rapids canceled classes for the day Tuesday.
Two hard hit areas were the Lindquist Park area north of Heritage Living Center and the neighborhood north of Coborns grocery store on Highway 34.
Dick Rutherford is convinced it was a tornado that hurled parts of the roof from Casey's General Store into his parking lot across Highway 34.
Rutherford's business and home suffered extensive damage. A TV antenna tower toppled, a trailer holding appliances and other objects was lifted and tossed into the middle of his business lot and tree branches littered his yard - as if you could tell.
"I've got a mess," Rutherford said, surveying his damage.
The Hubbard County fair's grandstand roof landed in on a home daycare center almost a block away.
"It happened so quickly, it was over as quickly as it started," said Trilla Olson, whose yard was covered by 50-foot trees.
Ron Steele rushed to his mother's house on Second Street West to assess the damage. Trees were down all over. It was a mess.
"I've got some work to do, don't I?" he said.
Law enforcement reported no serious injuries but were still assessing damage Tuesday morning.
Downed trees and power lines caused city streets and county highways to close. Power line crews started just after 10:30 p.m. Monday to restore power and get fallen trees off lines.
Carol Hutchinson looked at her new roof on the home she just bought on Second Street West. The building permit was still in the window.
"My lawn looked so nice yesterday," she said, sipping her store-bought coffee.
"I'd just hung a hummingbird feeder on that tree," she said, pointing to a pile of rubble on the ground under the fallen tree.
(Sarah Smith writes for the Park Rapids Enterprise, a Forum Communications Co. newspaper)