Storms hit Le Sueur County

Wade Young, Montgomery Messenger

The storms that came through Le Sueur County Thursday morning, July 31, not only blew down tree branches, it sent a worker from Seneca Foods in Montgomery to the hospital when he was hit by lightning.

According to the Montgomery Police Report, Ben Barta, a Seneca Foods employee, was taken to Queen of Peace Hospital after he was struck by lightning and thrown six feet after lightning hit a railroad car he was hanging onto.

Barta was conscious and breathing after the strike, according to the report, however as a precaution he was taken to Queen of Peace Hospital in New Prague where he was treated and released.

The Montgomery Police Office also received numerous reports of tree branches blocking alleys and roadways, as well as one large tree branch on a power line on 5th St. NE.

The storm hit hardest in Le Center with many downed trees and tree limbs. According to Le Center Leader editor, Terri McMillen, Traxler's Construction lost its storage pole shed and the roof of its office building.

Also the Weber building on the corner of Park Ave. and Minnesota Street had its roof torn off and the building had to be evacuated. McMillen added that they were scheduled to meet with an engineer/architect Monday to see what, if anything, can be done to save the building.

The straight-line winds also blew a set of bleachers over the baseball fence and into the middle of center field and took the roof off the south wing of Central Health Care, as well as closing Le Sueur County Courthouse for the day due to a large power outage.

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