Tornado rips through Baldwin Township


Submitted photo


Debbie Griffin photo

People in Baldwin Township felt the brunt of severe weather that hit the Princeton-Zimmerman area Monday about 6 p.m., with a reported tornado sighting and high winds that caused widespread power outages, damaged homes, felled big trees and brought down power lines.

Most of the affected area seems to be west of Highway 169 from County Road 4/Fremont Avenue in Zimmerman to just north of County Road 9/293rd Avenue in Princeton.

Emergency responders went to multiple homes along 144th Street/County Road 1 near Little Elk Lake and the Ridgewood Bay around 6:30 p.m., where several homes were damaged from an apparent tornado. One passerby said he’d seen the funnel forming. More damages were reported in the Fawn Hill subdivision just north of County Road 9, including to homes and other property.

Baldwin Fire Captain Joe Kiel said on scene that as of about 8 p.m., he was not aware of any loss of life or severe injury. Firefighters from Baldwin, Princeton and Zimmerman responded to the multiple scenes, along with Sherburne County deputies. Some heavy equipment was needed to move trees off the road, and many chainsaws could be heard in the distance.

Neighborhoods and homes throughout the area, including parts of Blue Hill Township are dark, with reports from Connexus energy as of 8 p.m. that it would be at least nine hours before power is restored. Kiel had reports of at least three or four power lines down in the area and said there would be some brief, temporary road closures in the area until those lines could be removed from the roadway.


Debbie Griffin photo

From weather reports: A confirmed tornado was located near Zimmerman at 5:49 p.m. Monday. At 5:56 p.m., a confirmed tornado was located over the south side of Princeton moving northeast at 40 mph.


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