Community working together to clean up

Published 2:43 pm Sunday, June 27, 2010

Albert Leans were already working together to clean up the town Sunday after storms ripped through on Saturday evening.

Residents were working all day Sunday to clean up downed trees. Gary and Cheri Petersen’s home on South Lane had damage from a fallen tree, and they were already working on cleaning up the yard Sunday afternoon.

“The neighbors are helping,” Cheri said. “Things are looking a lot better than they were.”

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The Petersens have already called a contractor and tree service, and Cheri described the fallen tree as a “minor inconvenience.” Their power went out around 10 p.m. and, like many others in northern Albert Lea, was still not on Sunday afternoon. Cheri described the winds as sounding like a large fan, and they heard the tree hitting their home.

Their neighbors, the Arends’, were already cleaning up as well on Sunday. Another family cleaning up Sunday were the Kellys on Willamor Road. They also had no power.

“We were lucky — we didn’t have too much damage,” John Kelly said. “We’re going to clean up as much as we can.”

Kelly, along with friends and neighbors, were cleaning up a tree that had fallen onto his neighbor’s car. The tree was technically on city property, but they wanted it off the car. They planned to take their scraps to the City Transfer Station, which was open from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The fee was waived for Albert Lea residents who had debris from trees to get rid of.

“A lot of people will take advantage of that,” Kelly said.

Another family cleaning up Sunday afternoon was Larry and Penny Harmdierks on Edgewater Drive. Saturday they had been helping clean up tornado damage in Hollandale, and when they got home the sirens started going off.

“We were caught off guard,” Penny said. “It happened so quickly.”

Penny said she didn’t know how long it lasted but that it only felt like a minute had passed before it was over. A large tree had fallen onto their roof, but Larry was watching docks tipping over in Fountain Lake.

“The wind just started blowing and the house was shaking,” Larry said. “We heard cracking and loud winds.”

The Harmdierks and neighbors were already cleaning up downed trees on Sunday and said they were glad no one had gotten hurt.

Related story:

Saturday storms rip through Albert Lea