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Strong storms, including 2 confirmed tornadoes, hammer communities north of the Twin Cities

Storms bring damage to areas north of Twin Cities
Storms bring damage to areas north of Twin Cities 01:38

CROW WING COUNTY, Minn. — The first major storm of the summer did a lot of damage north of the Twin Cities on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least two tornadoes caused damage on Wednesday. One touched down near the town of Wright in Carlton County and traveled 5 miles, with a preliminary strength rating of EF-0.

The other tornado, which may have been several tornadoes, touched down in Aitkin and Crow Wing counties, causing damage near the towns of Aitkin and Crosby. The length of that tornado's path and its strength rating are still being determined.

Giant chunks of hail pummeled the heart of cabin country, especially the Cuyuna Lakes Area just outside Brainerd. The winds were strong enough to tear down trees, flip trailers and more.

There is a big job ahead for families on Rabbit Lake in Crow Wing County. Driving north from Plymouth to his lake house Thursday, Daryn McBeth didn't know what he'd find.

"I knew it was bad, and I knew my power and internet was out here at the cabin, so was anxious to get up here today to check it out firsthand," McBeth said. "I've been here 12 or 15 years and haven't seen anything like this."

His cabin's security camera captured the severity of the storm — sheets of rain and heavy wind uprooting trees. They at least fell away from McBeth's house, but his dock wasn't as lucky.  

Other docks around the lake also took damage, and a pontoon even flipped. Nate Hildenbrand of Elk River saw the same happen to his trailer.

"Where do you start, what do you do? I'm not the only one who's been through something like this, so pick up the pieces and move on," Hildenbrand said.

Hail as big as baseballs fell in Itasca County and winds reached up to 70 miles per hour.

"We'll make some piles and some might turn into firewood," Hildenbrand said.

Everyone we spoke to held the damage in perspective: at least no one was seriously hurt.

The American Red Cross is also responding to help people affected by the storm damage in Crow Wing and Aitkin counties.

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