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

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

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. Wind speeds during Monday night’s storms were between 70 and 80 mph in Grand Rapids, breaking trees and power poles, and damaging homes – some that families have just moved into.

“That’s amazing,” said Emily Major.

The storm – and a big hole in the roof – definitely wasn’t the housewarming party the Major family expected to return to Grand Rapids just three weeks ago.

“The worst place is our winter garden,” she said. “Because it’s actually open to heaven at the moment.”

Emily said when the storm killed the first tree across the yard, she pushed her four children downstairs.

Her husband stayed up to see what was happening – and joined them just in time.

“As he was coming down the stairs, two more red pines that broke off on the roof of our house, and then we came up there were two more red pines that were uprooted on top of the house,” said Major.

They joined other families on Tuesday to pick up the pieces.

“We’re just concerned with sawing up the trees ‘with chainsaws’ and piling everything up in piles,” said Katie Sisco.

The hard work for Sisco and her family and friends began Tuesday morning with the felling of the 5 trees that fell on their home in a storm.

“We think one of our trees was struck by lightning and then it took one point, like some kind of aftermath on another tree, and that’s what hit the garage and fell off,” said Sisco. “So we two hit the house, two hit the garage and then one of us went into the yard.”

All of this happened before she could return from work to join her husband and children. “And I cried and hoped my family would be fine.”

As they went down to the basement after their daughter saw the first tree fall, Katie’s general manager drove her home on flooded streets as far as his car could get her.

“Of course I ran in the rain, ran home, and came around the corner over there,” she said. “And seeing all the trees that have fallen on my house and just hoping and praying that my children and my husband are fine at this point.”

Now they are cleaning the trees from their yard while others are cleaning up the debris from the cars, power lines, and decks of their home.

“We were probably about 7 down in the back,” said Reed Bender.

Bender and his family spent the day chopping and hauling wood in the sultry heat that followed the storm.

Now it has another effect to deal with – no electricity.

“We got our generators so that we can at least connect our refrigerator to run,” he said. “We’ve heard rumors that you know could take up to 3 days, but who knows how true it is or not. So let’s just play it by ear and see how it goes. “

Playing by ear is the plan many have, the community gathers to help. “I think I was offered about 40 people to come over with their chainsaws,” Major said.

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

Most of all, they say that they are grateful that none of their family or friends were hurt.

“It hurts in the bum, but no one has been hurt,” said Emily Major. Houses can be repaired, ”said Major.

Now that people are cleaning up, the city has three free brush dispensers, one on the south end of town and two on the north end.

The city administration asks residents not to burn their bushes and debris as the fire ban is still in place.

If you can’t drag your parts to the construction site, you can put them on the curb so that the city crews can pick them up at some point.

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