This weekend, Burnsville resident Karen Everts came home to an astonishing sight: A giant basswood tree, upended at the roots and lying on a a better portion of her well-kept suburban ranch house.
Not the best welcome after arriving home from a getaway in Branson.
"We were prepared, but not to have it this bad," Everts said on Monday, noting that the kitchen was in good shape so the family's Thanksgiving could go forward as planned. "We're just lucky that no one was hurt. It could have been so much worse."
The tree crashed into the house on 136th Street during Saturday's November squall, which culminated in two brief but forceful tornadoes. The twin funnel clouds cut a path through a narrow corridor stretching northeast from corner of I-35W and McAndrews Road to the corner of Burnsville Parkway and CR 11.
According to the City of Burnsville, 25 to 50 homes in town sustained some kind of damage, mostly to roofs or siding. About 100 to 150 trees or large branches were felled. The storm also resulted in power outages across the south metro. All roadways clear and all power resorted by 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, city officials said.
Most of the damage was concentrated in Burnsville, though there have been reports of destroyed property in Eagan and as far east as Mendota Heights.
Mendota Resident Leighton Siegel said there was no doubt in his mind that a tornado swept through his city.
“We were woken up about 11 o’clock, and it sounded like an airplane flying through our backyard,” Siegel said. “I don’t think it could be anything else [but a tornado] because it sounded very localized.”
The National Weather Service's report on the storm shows an area of "sporadic tree/powerline damage" near Interstate 494 and Highway 13, but does not confirm any tornades touching down within the boundaries of Mendota Heights.
"The damage that occurred in Mendota Heights, Lilydale, and portions of West St. Paul were related to 75 mph straight line winds," according to the NWS report.
No injuries were reported anywhere in Dakota County. However, questions have arisen about the storm sirens, which apparently failed to signal.
Burnsville's compost site is accepting debris. The site is located behind Dodge of Burnsville on Pleasant Avenue. It will be open for storm debris from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week through Dec. 9. the city also announced that crews would be out to pick up trees and tree debris, at no charge, beginning Tuesday. Residents are advised that free pickup will run no later than Friday. If you have tree debris, place it on the curb, parallel to the street. The city asks that each piece be no longer than 8 feet. The city will not pick up construction debris or leaf bags. For more information call city maintenance at 952-895-4550.