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Storm downs trees

Photo by Rachelle Klemme A large tree branch snapped and fell across a sidewalk near downtown Wadena.

The Tuesday morning windstorm, which prompted a severe thunderstorm warning from the National Weather Service, took down trees and knocked out power in some places in the area as well as destroying a fairgrounds building under construction.

Dan Riddle, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said that the official reading at the Wadena airport showed peak wind gusts were 43 miles per hour. Over in Staples airport, they were 51 miles per hour.

"Of course winds can and do vary over very short distances," Riddle said.

He said the weather service had received reports of trees down in the east Otter Tail and Detroit Lakes areas.

Riddle said that when the weather service office issues severe thunderstorm warnings, they warn that winds can be potentially between 60 and 70 miles per hour.

According to the National Weather Service - Twin Cities website, the storms were severe in the early morning in northern Minnesota, then weakened, then strengthened again and produced large hail in the northern Twin Cities metro area.

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