Saturday storm hits area

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

Severe thunderstorms blew through Scott, Le Sueur and Rice counties between 9 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 26. While there was some storm damage and minor street flooding in the New Prague area, the city escaped most of the heavy damage and flooding experienced elsewhere. Most of the damage reported in New Prague was in a small section in the southeastern portion of the city.

Severe weather sirens were activated three times in New Prague Saturday, according to New Prague Police Chief Mark Vosejpka.

A decorative street light in front of the New Prague Library was knocked over by the wind. New Prague Police Officer Andy Sirek was standing guard after the storm, since the power was still on and lights illuminated as it lay on the ground. He was unaware at the time of any other damage in the community, but said there was some minor street flooding.

In the hours that followed there were a few reports from the Prague Estates area of trees down and damage to homes, patios, fences and trees. Most of the damage was in the area of Settler's Park, where the storm damaged some children's playground equipment and overturned a portable toilet.

Several residents in that area reported damage, with pieces of siding torn away from some of the homes. A children's swingset at the Steve and Lisa Hartmann home on 12th Ave. SE, was overturned and their fence was damaged, and one neighbor had damage to their deck. Several trees in the area were damaged

Winds of more than 70 miles per hour were reported in the area. And power was out in several area communities, including Jordan and Elko New Market.

A spokesperson for Xcel Energy, which supplies electricity to Elko New Market, said there were 853 customers in the Elko New Market area who were without power from the time the storm hit, about 9:54 p.m. Saturday. Power was out until 9:12 a.m. The spokesperson said that outages in the Twin Cities area affected 54,000 customers following storms on Friday and Saturday evenings.

In addition to power outages, the heavy rains caused flooding in some parts of Scott County. Street flooding was reported in both Shakopee and Savage.

There was storm damage to the south, with several homes in Heidelberg reporting damage to siding and trees.

Kelly Doherty-Bohn and her husband Jeff Bohn operate HIS Harvest Farm, five miles west of Heidelberg, in the St. Thomas area. She said that the storm damaged several of their outbuildings and they lost some livestock, including 105 chickens.

The farm is a ministry that provides fresh produce, meat and eggs to foodshelves, soup kitchens and families in need. It has been in operation for about three years.

While no tornadoes were confirmed in the area, Doherty-Bohn said the damage was consistent with a tornado.

Debris was all over - it was hit and miss

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