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UPDATED: Funnel clouds spotted in Red Lake during storm

RED LAKE -- Multiple funnel clouds were spotted in Red Lake Wednesday night, but the area avoided severe damage according to public safety officials there.

Red Lake Director of Public Safety Bill Brunelle said Thursday that the department received a 911 call at about 9:17 p.m. Wednesday reporting the funnel cloud, which formed in an area called “the Point.”

The department put spotters in place around Red Lake, Brunelle said. The officials saw multiple funnel clouds form, dissipate and reform from about 9:17 p.m. to 9:56 p.m., but did not see any touch down.

Though the more populated areas of the reservation did not see much damage, Brunelle said the storm downed trees near the North Shore Trail.

Most of Beltrami County escaped without damages as well, and though Bemidji itself experienced strong wind gusts, the wind speed was not classified as severe, according to Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Chris Muller.

Muller received information about the funnel clouds from the Red Lake Police Department, but could not confirm any damages. Social media posts showed photos and videos of the storm.

The storm formed at about 9 p.m. near Upper and Lower Red Lake and swept toward northeast Beltrami County. Muller said the only in-county damages were “a couple” downed trees near Kelliher, however, several power outages were reported.

Cass County also saw minor damage from the storm. The sheriff’s office there told the Pioneer that there were several downed trees in the area, and that a few people had lost power. Power was expected to be restored sometime Thursday.

A tornado warning issued for northeastern Beltrami County expired at about 10:15 p.m.

Wednesday’s storm was the third major weather event in Bemidji in the past few weeks. A tornado touched down in Bemidji on July 4, leaving multiple downed trees and power lines in its wake. And on June 28, severe thunderstorms swept through the region, prompting Beltrami County to declare a state of emergency.

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or gpastoor@bemidjipioneer.com

(218) 333-9796
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