One dead as severe storms sweep across Minnesota

Storm clouds over the Twin Cities
Storm clouds swirl above the Twin Cities as severe storms move through the area in August 2020.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News file

Updated: 2:35 p.m.

One person died as severe storms packing winds in excess of 90 mph swept across Minnesota overnight.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported a man died and a woman was injured when the storms knocked a tree onto a camper southwest of Alexandria.

The storms moved through just after 11 p.m. Monday, and at about 11:40 p.m. the sheriff's office received a call from the Elmwood Resort on Lake Mary "reporting people were screaming for help from a camper that a tree had fallen on," according to a news release.

Deputies found a man and woman had been trapped in the camper. The Alexandria Fire Department helped extricate the two people from the camper; the man was pronounced dead at the scene, while the woman was transported to a hospital in Alexandria.

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The sheriff’s office identified the man as Mark Bunney, 72, of Miami, Ariz. The woman was identified as Debra Bunney, 66, of Miami, Ariz.; an update on her condition was not available Tuesday afternoon.

Wind gusts in excess of 70 mph were reported in the area as the storms moved through.

Elsewhere in the state, utility companies were reporting more than 15,000 homes and businesses remained without power as of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, in the wake of the overnight storms.

Crow Wing Power in Brainerd reported "extensive" damage to power lines in its central Minnesota service area — what it said was nearly a repeat of damage done by severe storms on Memorial Day. It said it had more than 35 contracted crews working alongside its own personnel.

The National Weather Service received a report of a 91 mph wind gust east of East Grand Forks late Monday afternoon. There were reports of downed trees and power lines in the area, along with crops damaged by wind-driven hail.

Strong winds knocked over semis on U.S. Highway 59 between Brooks and Plummer, Minn., late Monday afternoon.

A wind gust of 86 mph was reported near Sabin, Minn., on Monday evening, and winds hit 83 mph near Verndale in central Minnesota early Tuesday.

A storm spotter reported the storms tore roofing off two buildings in Ottertail, Minn., as the storms moved through late Monday. There were several reports of trees and branches down across Otter Tail County.

The storms came at the end of a record-setting warm day across much of the state. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and St. Cloud each hit record highs of 101 degrees on Monday.