Strong winds whip through Worthington, region

Rapidly dropping temperatures combined with rain, some snow and winds made for adverse weather conditions Wednesday into Thursday.


According to the National Weather Service, the United States on Wednesday registered the highest number of hurricane-force gusts on record in a single day. That comes just days after one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.


Locally, Worthington established a new record high of 56 degrees on Wednesday, shattering the old mark of 48 set back in 2002. Those conditions quickly changed, though, as temperatures had dropped into the low teens by early Thursday morning.


Meanwhile, high wind gusts were recorded around southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. The National Weather Service reported the recording of the following wind speeds Wednesday and early Thursday: Jackson Airport, 77 mph; Spencer, Iowa Municipal Airport, 72; Worthington Airport, 64; Sheldon, Iowa Airport, 62; Luverne, 60; Milford, Iowa, 59; and Windom Airport, 58.


A total of .24 inches of precipitation was measured at 7 a.m. Thursday morning at the Worthington Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as three tenths of an inch of snow. There were no injuries reported by the Worthington Police Department in connection with the nasty weather. The WPD did receive a report at 10:49 p.m. Wednesday of a tree down at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Clary Streetr; that tree was removed. Branches and other debris were scattered across the region as a result of the strong winds. Several area schools also started late Thursday morning due to icy conditions.


Federated Rural Electric reported more than 2,000 Federated members lost power overnight in Jackson and Martin counties due to the strong winds causing outages, but all were restored by 4 a.m. Thursday.


The first major outage affected Martin County when the East Chain, Wilbert and Ceylon substations lost the transmission line feeding those substations; this outage occurred at 6:15 p.m. A total of 11 poles went down along 60th Street south of Fairmont.


Also, at around 10:13 p.m., the Wilder substation lost power due to the wind. Power was restored there at 12:40 a.m. after crews inspected the lines for damage. Additionally, crews had some isolated individual and sectional outages throughout the two counties.



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