Crow Wing Co. fairgrounds, roads damaged by severe storms

- The Crow Wing County fairgrounds were damaged by severe thunderstorms that rolled through the area early Thursday morning.

The Crow Wing County sheriff’s office says the fair, which was scheduled to open at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, was closed until 1:00 p.m. while emergency crews work to clean up and repair the damage. The Crow Wing County Fair runs through Saturday.

The storms caused heavy damage throughout Crow Wing County. The areas near County Road 115 and County Road sustained heavy damage, Sheriff Todd Dahl said in a news release. The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who is not a resident of those areas or a member of the emergency crews to avoid the area.

“There have already been numerous reports of persons in the area taking photographs and driving through road closed signs,” Dahl said in statement. “If you are located in these areas, and don’t belong there at this time, you may be cited by law enforcement.”

The Babe the Blue Ox landmark at Paul Bunyan Land was toppled in the storm, but was quickly put back on its feet.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., Minnesota Power reported about 4,200 people in Nisswa, Brainerd, Pine River and Menahga were without power. The sheriff’s office says emergency crews are working to restore power and open roads in the area.

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