Story courtesy of KUOO – Explore Okoboji

Tue 6-17-2014 (Spirit Lake)– Damage surveys and cleanup efforts will kick into high gear today (Tues.) after severe thunderstorms packing 60 to 70 mph wind and heavy rain pummeled the area late Monday afternoon and evening.

Extensive damage was reported to boats and hoists in the Terrace Park area of West Okoboji. Considerable tree damage was reported in portions of Spirit Lake and Okoboji. In Milford, a large retaining wall at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church collapsed.

Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret says most of the damage was tree-related. He says there were many incident of tree limbs crashing down on power lines, knocking out electricity.

“Generally the biggest thing is probably a lot of tree damage which then in turn caused a lot of power line damage, trees or branches that fell and happened to fall on power lines or poles and took them to the ground with them, so. That’s generally a lot of what I saw. There were some boats that came loose yesterday on the lakes, both Big Spirit and West Lake, that were set adrift and some ended up down at Terrace Park, some were on the southeast shore of Big Spirit, so we had that issue to contend with again. Probably the worst damage was both northwest of Superior and the west side of West Okoboji, two different locations where there was a row of power poles that was snapped off and broken off.” Ehret says damage reports were fairly widespread.

“There’s a few trees and things in Lake Park and of course things we saw in the lakes area, what I saw and what you guys got pictures of, then clear over to Superior so, yeah, just straight line winds with that line of storms that came through.” Ehret urges those using chainsaws and heavy equipment as part of the clean-up process to exercise caution. He says you should consider getting a hold of a professional if you feel the job is too big to handle on your own.

For photos of the damage, see Explore Okoboji’s storm damage photos on our Facebook page: