Strong Storms Damage North Central Minnesota
BRAINERD (AP) - Severe thunderstorms that pushed through parts of Minnesota closed roads, cut power, delayed a county fair opening and toppled a huge Babe the Blue Ox statue at Paul Bunyan Land.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says emergency crews are working to open roads closed by falling trees and branches and restore power.
The Crow Wing County Fair organizers delayed Thursday's opening until the afternoon because the fairgrounds sustained damage. At Paul Bunyan Land at This Old Farm near Brainerd, strong winds pushed over a 6,000-pound, 19-foot-tall statue of Babe the Blue Ox.
One of the park's owners, Lois Moon, says Babe hasn't moved in inch in 13 years - until now.
Xcel Energy says about 5,000 people in the Twin Cities and to the west are without power.
Storm damage at Grandview Lodge, photo courtesy of Samantha Ryan