Powerful storm destroys and damages homes, property in Alexandria

Mary Ann Schlosser has lived in Alexandria, Minnesota, for 46 years, and has never experienced anything like that she did on Thursday night.

Around 7:30 p.m., tornado sirens began to go off. She didn’t have time to get to the basement before the storm was on her doorstep, knocking over a giant tree that tore apart her garage.

"I’ve still got things in my yard I can’t find… I lost 17 pine trees, and the big tree here in the front yard is the only one that fell on the house," Schlosser told FOX 9.

Residents of Alexandria experienced storms last night that many have not seen in an entire lifetime.

Her neighborhood, which is located on the shores of Lake Darling, was hit especially hard. The storm brought strong winds and widespread damage to the area, leaving thousands without power. Emergency crews tell FOX 9 damage is widespread throughout Douglas County, but is mostly contained to private property, with reports of destroyed homes, fallen trees and downed power lines.

It was pure luck Cindi Yell’s shed didn’t blow through her home.

"When I went by the window, I saw [the shed] coming and it bounced off this tree," she said. As the storm hit, all of her back windows shattered, leaving her with glass in her feet and a big mess to clean up.

Alexandria residents continue cleanup efforts after storms on Thursday. 

"I was going by the patio door and it bursted inside, glass all over. All the windows on this side are out and roof damage… It was very scary," Yell said.

The National Weather Service will be in Douglas County on Friday, looking at areas damaged by strong winds and possible tornadoes. They will make the determination if a tornado did occur there on Thursday night. 

If your home or property was damaged in Thursday night’s storm, Douglas County officials want to know about it so they can track just how severe the storm was. You can make a damage report HERE.