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Erica Dischino / Tribune The remains of a barn -- and part of a fence hanging in a tree Wednesday at Magnuson Farms in Pennock -- show the force of Tuesday's storm. A new addition on one of their barns also was destroyed.

Pennock farms gauge storm damage

PENNOCK — Two family farms west of Willmar were damaged by severe storms moving across the state early Tuesday afternoon.

The strong winds tore the roof off a barn at Carlson Dairy and destroyed a barn at Magnuson Farms.

"It was around 2:15 or so," said Jennie Magnuson of the Tuesday afternoon storm.

The National Weather Service in its hazardous weather outlook for Tuesday predicted that area thunderstorms could be severe, with gusty winds and hail as the primary concerns.

These wind gusts proved to be the culprits of the farm damage in Pennock. Carlson Dairy and Magnuson Farms have had their fair share in the past year.

On June 11, 2017, a powerful storm hit west central Minnesota in the morning, bringing 60-70 mph winds to the Pennock area.

At Carlson Dairy, brand new cattle barns, a recently built large shop, several outbuildings, and homes on the sprawling farm were severely damaged or destroyed by last year's storm.

Almost 400 volunteers gathered at the rural Pennock farm at that time, with trucks, trailers and semis to haul cattle away to a temporary location while cleanup and repairs were undertaken.

Magnuson Farms were also victims of this 2017 storm, losing 31 trees and sustaining losses to their barns and family home.

This year, both the Carlsons and the Magnusons were more fortunate.

The storm's wind gusts ripped the roof off only one barn at Carlson Dairy, depositing it on the top of another building and causing more damage.

The debris tore through the roof of one barn with livestock in it, causing more damage inside the farm building.

Luckily, no animals were injured in the storm, but it took some time for the cows to settle down after the storm was over.

Compared to the previous damage and destruction, Tuesday's storm simply added a few more tasks to last year's repairs checklist.

"Just a lot of the same old stuff we did last year," said Chad Carlson.

They already replaced the roof of one building and contractors are coming to the farm in the next week to begin other repairs.

"Thankfully, none of the fans were damaged or anything like that. The tankers, it'll probably take a little time to get them up and running, but otherwise we're good," Carlson said.

The storm demolished one steer barn at Magnuson Farms.

The Magnusons had damage that seemed hard to explain but were unsure if the storm had caused a small tornado.

"That's a pretty heavy fence up there in the tree, and we don't know how it got there. So maybe a twister came through and set it up there," said Jerry Magnuson.

A new addition on one of their barns also was destroyed by the storm.

"We just added that ten-foot addition last year after the last storm," he said.

Jennie Magnuson added that last year's damage was far more extensive, uprooting trees around their property and ripping the shingles off their family home.

"Last year was bad. We had trees down everywhere and it took a long time to clean up."

Both families expressed relief that the storm had not been worse, keeping the destruction to a minimum.

"It's just part of running a farm," Carlson said.

The Magnuson family echoed his sentiment.

"Stuff like this happens. It's not great, but at least this year we were all a little more lucky," Jerry Magnuson said.

Other area storm damage

Many trees and branches blew down in the region.

At Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar, a canopy and a batting cage used by the Willmar Stingers were damaged, and several trees behind the center field fence blew down.

Law enforcement in the area received some reports. In Prinsburg, a large tree reportedly broke off and was leaning against another along Kandiyohi Avenue. A tree fell over the Kandi-Renville Line Road near Blomkest, blocking the whole road.

An inflatable pool was on the side of the road near the intersection of Seventh Street and Becker Avenue Southwest. A Willmar police officer reported that he put a cement block in the pool to keep it from blowing into the road.

A large branch was blocking the road in the 800 block of Monongalia Avenue Southwest in Willmar.

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