Photos: Storm tears roof off auto shop

Published 10:49 am Thursday, July 19, 2012

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Storms hit Lyle area hardest in southern Minnesota

Not all of Mower County escaped Wednesday night and Thursday morning’s severe weather unscathed.

Several homes and businesses in Lyle were damaged due to storms.

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Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said the roof came off the Lyle Auto Body Shop around 3:15 a.m. Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation helped clean up the debris.

Amazi said the wind had also blown down a tree south of Sargeant and had broken a pole supporting power lines along the bike trail between Rose Creek and Adams.

There were no reports of hail damage made to the police, Amazi said, but some area farmers did experience some crop damage from fierce winds.

“Nobody was hurt,” said Gary Harrison, Lyle city council member. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”

Harrison and other volunteers helped city officials clean up homes and take away downed trees and other debris Thursday. Harrison said he had helped clean at about a half dozen homes before 9:45 a.m.

“Everybody’s kind of pitching in,” he said.

While Lyle and southern Minnesota didn’t receive the worst of the damage, there were reports of wind speeds of 50 to 53 mph in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Tom Stangeland, a meteorological technician with the NWS in La Crosse, Wis., said they haven’t heard of hail in Lyle yet, but reports are still coming in.

“They certainly had some wind damage, with some trees down across southern Minnesota and into Iowa and Wisconsin,” he said.

Stangeland said they received reports of 1 1⁄2 inch hail in Hayfield and a 72 mph wind gust in Prairie du Chien, Wis.