What force damaged the trees in Wells?

Published 1:51 pm Saturday, July 3, 2010


My question is about the storm of June 25.

We were eating at Charley’s for my dad’s birthday Friday night and experienced the 20-minute hail storm, torrential rain, dangerous lightning and damaging winds. Dad won’t forget that birthday!

Email newsletter signup

We left Mankato around 8 p.m. and took Highway 22 home to Wells, basically following the storm. We had to take a detour to get home (the house next to the Dairy Queen in Wells) since one mile outside of town power lines were down across the highway. When we got home, we had no power and trees down. We lost a 90-year-old elm, completely uprooted and landed in the DQ lot. Our 125-year-old willow was gone, limbs broken half way up the main trunk. Two beautiful maples snapped in half. Everything in Wells that night all landed the same direction: south-ish. This makes me think we had straight-line winds of 60-plus from the north-ish. From all I could see, including fields outside of town, there were no noticeable fan-out patterns (downburst) and no apparent twisting at our place or in town (gustnado). My question then is where can I get verification of the straight-line winds? I’ve searched but have had no luck so far finding official reports telling me what happened Friday night while we were gone.

I did read the “story” on your website about an EF0 on Saturday night (a half mile northwest of Hartland). Our house just lost a couple of large branches with that storm, this time falling toward the north with strong winds from the south. Quite the weekend!

In all honesty, the Albert Lea Tribune has provided better coverage of all the storms than any news outlet in Mankato. Keep up the great work. Thank you for any help you can offer.

Wanda J. Kothlow


Editor’s note: To respond to your letter, we spoke with KIMT meteorologist Adam Frederick. He said the National Weather Service and other sources determined the damage in Wells on June 25 were caused by straight-line winds. Unfortunately, there was no measurement of the wind speed in Wells during that storm. And fallen trees are not considered a reliable measurement of wind speed. Wind-damaged buildings provide a more accurate estimate, and Wells was lacking in those. Frederick said 60-plus mph was the ballpark of some of the rough estimates he has heard.