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Sunday’s storm causes damage across New Richmond area

An ominous sky full of dark clouds is shown moving over Star Prairie during Sunday’s storm that hit the New Richmond area and beyond. Photo courtesy of Samantha Olson1 / 4
Several reports from Sunday’s storm gave a 1-2 inch range in the size of hail that hit the New Richmond and Somerset areas, according to stormersite.com. This photo was taken by Allison Howard in Star Prairie on Sunday, June 11. Photo courtesy of Allison Howard2 / 4
Somerset resident Jeff DeGeest’s front yard was covered in hail following Sunday’s storm that swept through the area, causing damage to houses, cars and anything else in its path. Photo courtesy of Jeff DeGeest3 / 4
This photo was taken in the Horse Creek/Star Prairie area on Sunday, June 11, during the bad weather that hit the community throughout the day. Photo courtesy of Bethany Stephens4 / 4

The storm system that charged through the New Richmond and surrounding areas on Sunday, June 11, brought with it torrential downpours, hail, thunder and lightning and wind.

Houses, cars and other items that weren’t covered or brought in doors were damaged to one degree or another from the hail and wind, causing damage at homes and businesses. According to the National Weather Service, New Richmond received .32 inches of rain at the airport, while there were several reports of hail anywhere from 1-2 inches in the New Richmond and Somerset areas, according to stormersite.com.

According to Bernard’s Northtown general manager Mike Montello, the car dealership received hail damage of varying degrees to both its building, which is still being accessed, and almost every single car on the lot.

“Some of the damage isn’t as serious as others, but if it was outside during the hail it received some kind of damage,” Montello said. “Although, the level of damage, at least where we are concerned, isn’t about how many dents or dings a car receives, but is judged more by where the damage is. The adjustors are currently on site and it will probably be weeks before we know the extent of the damage to the cars and our building.”

Montello said that, not only will his staff have to handle the damage to their cars and those who bringing in their cars for repairs, but they also have the added challenge of dealing with those people who were in the process of purchasing a car when the storm hit.

“We have some people who bought cars before the storm and just hadn’t picked them up and others who were in the process of purchasing one,” Montello said. “We will have to talk with those people and figure out if they want a new car or if they are willing to take the opportunity to buy the car with the damage, but at a discount. In the end, a vast majority of the cars will get fixed before they are sold and they will be fixed here with the help of our staff and the added staff we have hired to come in and help with the huge amount of repairs we have to make.”

Montello said that the last time a storm caused this much damage to the dealership and the community as a whole was in 2008. This time around, the dealership has around 400 cars to repair from the hail damage from Sunday’s storm.

“We will work, with our extra help, to get things done as expeditiously as possible since we will have to fix not only our cars, but those of our customers who are bringing their cars into the shop,” Montello said. “We will work as quickly as we can, but I wouldn’t be surprised to still be working on cars a month from now.”

Lightning damage wasn’t as prevalent as hail from Sunday’s storm, but United Fire & Rescue of Hammond member Gary Newton said that the Village of Hammond had two lightning strikes hit in the village on Sunday morning. One strike hit the St. Croix Central outdoors concession stand at the high school, which blew out the meter on the little building, while a second strike hit a house, but only caused damage to the siding and no open flame resulting from the blast.

Local stories from the storm

Residents from all over the New Richmond area received damage to their houses and cars, but they all had different experience with Sunday’s storm and shared their stories with the News.

“It was the first real severe storm my daughter Emma (who is 4) had a chance to witness.  She thought the sky needed a timeout and now believes when the sky gets mad it throws ice cubes. Definitely one to remember!” — Samantha Olson, Star Prairie

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“We had a lot of hail/damage in the Horse Creek/Star Prairie area. It's been almost 24 hours and my house still does not have power. Hail damage to our siding and probably roof as well, hail dings on both vehicles and leaves/branches/pine needles everywhere.” — Bethany Stephens, Horse Creek/Star Prairie area

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“We live just south of Cedar Lake Speedway and my wife's car has about 100 hail dents but otherwise just some branches down.” — Bruce Stearns, New Richmond

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"Well I am a trained weather spotter and yesterday I decided to go out and check the weather. I decided to stop and film the amazing cloud structure coming into town. It was like something u see out of a movie. the way the clouds were and the color just seemed like this storm was gonna do some damage. I decided to film my experience through the whole storm. from the wind blowing and the lightening striking it was unreal. and to see how quick it came in and just left was amazing..it only lasted just a couple minutes. I'm surprised there wasn't more damage to be honest." — Mike Moen, New Richmond. Moen also shared a video of the storm on his and the News’ Facebook page on Monday, June 11.

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“There was no damage, thankfully. We just hunkered down with our two young children and watched the storm happen. We used it as a teaching opportunity and did our best to explain thunder, lightening, and hail in a way that wouldn't scare them.” — Alicia Powers, New Richmond

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“We were getting ready to head out for a dance recital in mn when this pic was taken...waited out the hail, damage to both of our vehicles...thankfully, all dance families from short dance made it to Inver Grove Heights safely...but it definitely made for an interesting/scary drive!” — Lo Dreier, New Richmond

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“The hail sounded like someone was throwing baseballs at our home. Luckily nothing was damaged.” — Taryn Anday, New Richmond

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“We had golf ball and baseball sized hail. Some of the hail was picked up an hour afterwards and were still that large.” — Erica Johnson, Somerset

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“I work at a construction place and schedule at least 30 hail inspection appointments. So it was definitely a bad one!” — Desiree Gibson, New Richmond

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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