Wind Storm Information

Fallen Tree on Car
Drawing of Person Holding on to Tree Because of Wind

While high winds are commonly associated with severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and or disasters, they may also occur as a result of differences in air pressures, such as when a cold front passes across the area.

High winds can cause downed trees and power lines, flying debris and building collapses, which may lead to power outages, transportation disruptions, damage to buildings and vehicles, and injury or death. If you live in a mobile home or a home without a basement, the City of Crookston will provide a storm shelter located at the City Hall basement at 124 North Broadway.

Preparing for High Winds

In advance of any storm, be sure your property is secure. Remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures, loose roofing materials and objects in yards, patios, roofs or balconies that could blow away.

If a High Wind Warning Is Issued

Take shelter and tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local TV and radio stations.

Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors.

Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture or garbage cans that could blow away and cause damage or injury.

Safety Tips

  • The safest place to during high winds is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory or high wind warning has been issued.
  • Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts. Keep an eye toward nearby balconies for loose objects that may fall.
  • Take cover next to a building or under a shelter. Stand clear of roadways or train tracks, as a gust may blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Use handrails where available on outdoor walkways and avoid other elevated areas such as roofs without adequate railing.
  • Report downed lines to Ottertail Power Co. at 218-281-3632 in the Crookston area. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.
  • Avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and even wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity in some cases. Warn others to stay away.
  • Do not touch anyone who has been shocked who may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line. You may become a second victim. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 911.
  • When driving, keep both hands on the wheel and slow down. Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care in a high-profile vehicle such as a truck, van, SUV, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, get onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the car and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
  • If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Take care not to touch any of the metal frame of your vehicle. Honk your horn, roll down the window and warn anyone who may approach of the danger. Ask someone to call the police. Do not exit the car until help arrives, unless it catches on fire. To exit, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car's exterior, to safe ground and get quickly away.

Beaufort Wind Scale

  • 25 to 31 mph: Strong Breeze - large branches in motion; whistling in telephone wires; umbrellas used with difficulty.
  • 32 to 38 mph: Near Gale - Whole trees in motion; resistance felt while walking against the wind.
  • 39 to 46 mph: Gale - Twigs break off of trees; wind impedes walking.
  • 47 to 54 mph: Strong Gale - Slight structural damage to chimneys and slate roofs.
  • 55 to 63 mph: Storm - Seldom felt inland; trees uprooted; considerable structural damage.
  • 73+ mph: Hurricane - Widespread structural damage; roofs torn off homes; weak buildings and mobile homes destroyed; large trees uprooted.