By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
Wind gusts of between 30 and over 50 mph were reported throughout southeast Minnesota on Tuesday, Mar. 7 and for much of Wednesday, Mar. 8.
Branches were blown from trees and some trees were blown over completely, including a tree on Main Street in Caledonia that was split from its trunk.
The Diersen farm sustained damaging winds which led to toppled farm machinery, wind damage to their home and outbuildings.
“I don’t think it was a tornado,” said Josh Diersen, “but I think you could easily call it ‘straight line winds.’”
He said he and his family toured their property following the damaging winds making its way through the area.
“We had a lot of damage, but I’m just glad that everyone is okay,” he said.
The farm of David Giblin on Malay Road sustained wind damages including a pole barn shed that had its roof blown off. Twisted metal was found up in trees and along the road.
Giblin heard a loud noise hit his home, looked outside and knew it was time to take action.
“We heard a rather loud bang, a branch hit our house,” he said. “We went down into the basement.”
Giblin would later follow up with the National Weather Service out of La Crosse who informed him that the storm was a tornado that couldn’t be classified as such as it didn’t touch down in our area.
But, the officials said, it is from the same cell that would touch down later in Wisconsin and along Hwy 18.
“It tore a path through our woods,” Giblin said. “And those were huge trees.”
Thankful that no one was hurt, his farm had windows knocked out, damage to the roof of his silo and damage to his pole shed.
A wall from another shed was seen strewn a football field length away from its original foundation, tossed about like it was merely a piece of candy.
Bobby Giblin’s property also sustained damage as did several other neighbors in the area.
The National Weather Service reported gusts of 42 mph in Iona, Iowa, and 43 mph in Winneshiek County.
Dodge County reported a 55 mph gust in Kasson and Fillmore, and Houston each reported gusts of 47 mph.
Thankfully, there were no reports of injuries as a result of the storms.