Side Lake family: recent renovations may have saved our lives during recent storm

Side Lake family: recent renovations may have saved our lives during recent storm
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:46 AM CDT
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SIDE LAKE, MN -- Many are still cleaning up Tuesday after storms Monday night uprooted trees, damaged homes, and left thousands without power across northeast Minnesota.

John and Lory Fedo have lived in their Side Lake, Minnesota home for decades.

“We moved here from Duluth 30 years ago and raised our family,” Lory Fedo said.

It’s a beautiful spot perched on Big Sturgeon Lake, but Monday night’s storm caused massive damage.

“Sounded like, like they say a freight train was really loud and we could hear the trees coming down in the house and being uprooted and things were shaking,” Lory Fedo said.

Their property is covered in uprooted trees, not just outside but inside too. It damaged their home, which was recently renovated and upgraded from a small cabin.

But the Fedo’s say that renovation may have actually saved their lives.

“So we went through a remodel and added a second story. And then this happened. But if we had been in the cabin, we wouldn’t be here to tell the tale because a couple of the trees went down and they would have they would have gone right through the roof,” John Fedo said.

The storm that caused the damage knocked out power for more than 20,000 people in the area.

The outages were widespread across many areas of the Iron Range.

In Hibbing, crews started working while the storm was still happening to try to get power back on.

“So happy to say though all of our customers are back in service as of this moment, but it was a rough night,” Luke Peterson, the general manager for Hibbing Public Utilties said.

Peterson said his crews have been working since 9 p.m. Monday.

“They’re tired,” Peterson said. “We’ve been filing them up with Red Bull, sandwiches, and deserts.”

According to Peterson, the storms hitting the area seem to be getting worse every year.

“It is mother nature doing her thing,” Peterson said. “And what we’re seeing and what our line crews report is that we’re just getting more and more of these storms and in the past.”

For the Fedo’s, they’ve got some advice for anyone who may experience a night like they had on Monday.

“If you’re even in doubt just take shelter because it could have gone it could have easily gone a different way,” the Fedo’s said.

John Fedo, was the former mayor, of Duluth. Lory Fedo was president of the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce.

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