Storms tear down trees, cause fires around Farmington
Farmington announces pick-up plan for tree branches broken in storm
Farmington residents and city crews scrambled Tuesday morning to clean up after a powerful storm swept through Dakota County, damaging properties and uprooting trees.
A series of storms have left damages in their wake for several days.
Over the weekend, flooding was reported in Castle Rock Township, and Sunday night Fire Department Chief Tim Pietsch said they suspect a lightning strike caused a shed to start on fire.
“A nearby tree pretty well splintered, so we suspect lightning,” Pietsch said.
Tuesday morning, crews were called to respond to a report of blowing gas from a punctured meter at a home on Excalibur Trail.
Pietsch said a “beat up” looking trampoline was nearby, and they suspect the gas meter was hit by it or other debris in the storm.
Farmington’s city maintenance staff were kept busy pulling trees and branches out of city streets, and in Hastings, Pietsch said there were many gas leaks caused by uprooted trees.
Dakota Electric spokesman Joe Miller said crews have been working to restore power to more than 10,000 reported outages.
Some outages were caused by downed trees, but in some cases power poles had come down and needed to be reset before the power could be put back on.
By 11:30 a.m., Dakota Electric crews had 1,300 outages remaining, and Miller said it could be 48 hours before everyone in the service area is completely restored.
“We’ve been making great progress to be down to 1,300,” he said.
Damage was not confined to any one area, but Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Eagan and Hastings seemed to be hit particularly hard, Miller said.
“There is damage everywhere,” Miller said.
With more storm warnings expected, he warned people to stay away from downed power lines.
“Assume they are live and just stay away,” Miller said.
To report power outages or downed poles, call the Dakota Electric outage line at (651) 463-6201.
Farmington City Administrator Dave McKnight said the city will begin picking up storm debris Wednesday morning and continue through next week.
He said residents should cut brush in small pieces and place it at the curb for crews to pick up.
The photos in this slideshow are of a house on Highway 3 and of Trinity Care Center and Trinity Terrace in Farmington off 213th Street both on the southeast side of Farmington. The photos were submitted by Kara Hildreth of Farmington.
— Laura Adelmann