This last weekend, there was a huge thunderstorm that went through Ottertail County, Minnesota. The storm provided a lot of rain and straight-line winds that shook the county. Since I live in a very rural area, I don’t know how much damage my neighbors sustained but, for my mother and I, it wasn’t a problem.
I woke up in the middle of the night to rain pouring down outside my window and lightening flashing across the sky. I love storms, but I wasn’t too happy about this one. I was hoping the next day would be nice when my friends came over to hang out. We were hoping to have a bonfire and go to the beach. It didn’t look like that was going to be happening.
I woke up to my mother’s shouts of anger from upstairs. I got up to see what the problem was. I quickly realized when I looked out the window: Her plastic covered greenhouse had been torn to shreds by the wind. I was a little sad as well. I had been hoping to use the greenhouse for some plants I was intending to grow.
It was the straight-line winds again. They happen all the time in this area. Half the time you have to worry about tornadoes in the summer, but it’s the straight-line winds that sneak up on you in the middle of the night and destroy things. They pull the roofs off trailer houses, steal shingles off roofs, destroy trees, and, in our case, my mom’s greenhouse.
I walked around outside with my mom to survey the damage. There were several shingles lying on the ground that had been torn off our roof. Our rhubarb plants had sustained severe damage as well, and looked like they had been nearly torn out of the ground.
I examined our tree line and found that there were a few broken trees along it. The wind strikes again. You’d think that trees would be stronger than that… Well, they’re not. If you get a strong enough wind, they break like toothpicks.
The biggest problem was brought up by my second-cousin Ivan and his wife Martha. They are living in a small house on our property and were very concerned about the storm. Their house is right next to the tree line, and there was a very tall tree that happened to be right over their house. They were extremely worried that it was going to fall right onto their house. They called the local tree removal service to see what could be done about it.
My mom wasn’t too happy about that. She didn’t want anyone traipsing about our yard when my stepdad Steve could cut it down himself. Still, Ivan called and, about an hour later, the tree removal service was in our front yard backing their truck down our driveway. It turns out that, even though Ivan had only called for an estimate, they decided to bring all their trucks anyway. They decided the tree removal service cost too much and figured it was simpler to do it themselves. After much discussion on how to avoid dropping the tree on the house, Ivan and Steve cut it down later that day.
The storm died down and I was able to have my bonfire with my friends and we were able to go to the lake, although it was extremely cloudy out. The rest of the weekend was fine for us and I guess if there was more to the storm system it went around us.