Sunday night was ominous for the south and eastern parts of Mille Lacs Lake and surrounding areas. A doppler-indicated tornado warning was issued for Mille Lacs County, along with Benton and Morrison counties. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for nearby Aitkin, Pine and Carlton counties.
Heavy rain, from 3 to 5 inches, was reported, along with winds in excess of 70 mph as part of Sunday evening’s storms.
Locally, boats were thrown off their lifts, some boats lost out on the lake, and damage to docks occurred which were upheaved from the strong winds and water surge.
This particular storm appeared to create a storm surge which is a temporary rise in water level caused by storm winds blowing across miles of open water and dragging some water towards the down-wind shore. This causes a build-up in water level along the down-wind shore.
Mark Anderson, who is from Orrock but has a cabin at Mille Lacs Island Resort in Wahkon, said he’s been at the resort, since he was a kid and has never seen a water surge like this one.
Mille Lacs County Sheriff Don Lorge said they had reports of several boats that had washed to shore and a pontoon attached to a dock that had been flipped over. “Our Search and Rescue Deputy Bobby Cooper was going to go out and check on things this morning,” Lorge said Monday morning.
Jodi Kanera, of Mille Lacs Island Resort on social media Sunday night, reported that this was the worst storm she’s seen in her 26 years there and that approximately 70 percent of the docks were destroyed or highly damaged.
Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort fared well with some grills and chairs flying and minor damage to docks.
Mac’s Twin Bay Resort Kevin McQuoid also reported little damage but will be doing some dock repair.