Family’s Newly Purchased Home Among Extensive Storm Damage In Grand Rapids

Wind speeds during Monday night’s storms clocked in between 70 and 80 miles an hour in Grand Rapids, snapping trees and power poles and damaging homes.

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.- Wind speeds during Monday night’s storms clocked in between 70 and 80 miles an hour in Grand Rapids, snapping trees and power poles and damaging homes – some where families just moved in.

“It’s kind of unbelievable that’s for sure,” said Emily Major.

The storm — and a big hole in the roof — was definitely not the housewarming the Major family expected moving back to Grand Rapids just three weeks ago.

“The spot that’s the worst is our sunroom,” she said.  “Cause that’s actually open to the sky right now.”

Emily said when the storm took down the first tree across the yard she hustled her four kids downstairs.

Her husband stayed up to watch what was happening — and found himself joining them just in the nick of time.

“Right as he was coming down the stairs two other Red Pines, the tops snapped off onto the roof of our house and then we came up there was two more Red Pines that had uprooted on top of the house,” said Major.

They joined other families Tuesday picking up the pieces.

“We’re just dealing with ‘chainsaw-ing’ up the trees and putting it all in big piles,” said Katie Sisco.

The hard work began Tuesday morning for Sisco and her family and friends, cutting up the 5 trees that crashed onto their house in the storm.

“We believe on of our trees got struck by lightning and then it took the one top, like an aftermath kind of thing on another tree the top and that’s what hit the garage and came off,” Sisco said. “So we had 2 hit the house, 2 hit the garage and then one went down in the yard.”

All this, happening before she even could make it home to her husband and kids from work. “And I was crying and hoping that my family was ok.”

While they went to the basement after her daughter saw the first tree fall, Katie’s General Manager drove her home in flooded streets for as far as his car could take them.

“Sure enough I ran in the rain, ran home came arounds that corner over there,” she said. “And seeing all the trees fallen on my house and just hoping and praying that my kids and my husband were ok at that point.”

Now they clean the trees from their yard, while others clean the debris from on top of cars, power lines, and decks of their home.

“In the back we probably had about 7 down,” said Reed Bender.

Bender and his family spent the day chopping and lugging logs in the muggy heat that followed the storm.

Now, he has another effect to deal with — no electricity.

“We went and got our generators so we can at least plug in our refrigerator, keep that running,” he said. “We heard rumors you know that it could be up to 3 days but who knows how true that is or not. So we’ll just play it by ear and see how it goes.”

Playing it by ear is the plan many are taking, the community rallying together to help. “It think I’ve had about, probably about 40 people offer to come over with their chainsaws,” said Major.

“How parts of my family came, my boss offered to help and cut, take down trees from the house,” Sisco said.

Above all, they say they’re thankful none of their family or friends, were hurt.

“It’s a pain in the butt but nobody was hurt,” Emily Major said, “really nothing was really lost here. Houses can be fixed,” said Major.

Now as people are cleaning up the city is offering three free brush drop off sites one on the south end of town and two on the north end.

City officials asks residents please not burn their brush and debris, as the fire ban is still in place.

Anyone who can’t haul their pieces to the sites, can put it on the curb to be picked up by city crews eventually.

Categories: Environment, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News, Public Safety, Weather in the News