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Drew Bauer with Rivertown Tree Service in Hastings trims a tree in the lawn of a home on Fourth Street on Thursday. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson

Cleanup continues in Hastings; power restored through much of town

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Crews remain busy in Hastings this week, cleaning up from a devastating storm that blew through early Tuesday morning.

Here is a collection of notes we have compiled related to the storm:

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• Owners of Rivertown Tree Service in Hastings said that they have already received 800 phone calls from residents seeking help, stretching from here to Apple Valley.

• Patience will be key as cleanup continues. Crews could be working on cleanup for another four weeks or longer, said Director of Public Works Tom Montgomery. At this point, public works and parks department staff aren't doing any work other than cleanup, and normal activities aren't expected to resume until crews get further into the cleanup.

• The good news for Hastings residents is that power is coming back in most places. As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Xcel Energy said they had just four outages left in Hastings.

• We have heard the Hastings Country Club lost approximately 20 mature trees in the storm.

• A pile of brush is growing at the city dump site at Spiral Boulevard and Glendale Road, where city crews are dumping debris. This site is for city crews only.

• Residents hauling their own debris can drop it off at Waste Management. Montgomery strongly urged residents to remove their own debris if they're able, as it could be some time before city crews are available to pick it up. Waste Management is located at 2800 Millard Ave. Extended drop off hours are Thursday and Friday noon to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday and Tuesday noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday noon to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• The Vermillion River has begun to recede. It appeared to crest last night. The sidewalk underpass below Vermillion Street, though, is still under water.

• The Mississippi River will not reach flood stage next week, but it is expected to come close to that level. The river is expected to rise five feet between today and Thursday, June 28, due to all the rainfall we have experienced lately. The river is expected to reach 14.1 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet.

• It could always be worse: We just read that the Duluth mayor expects that the city's damage to public property will total $50 million to $80 million. That doesn't count damage done to private property, which is probably going to total about the same amount of money.

• We are working to find out for next week's issue to find out how much money these efforts are going to cost the City of Hastings. It certainly can't be cheap.

• If you lost power in the storm, what did you do when your power finally came back on? We ask because at least a few of us here at the paper went without power for up to 38 hours. In that household, screams of glee bounced off the walls as the lights came back on. If you have a unique story about what happened in your house, please write to crichardson@hastingsstargazette.com.

• On that note, why is it that even after you've been without power for 24 hours do you still just flick the light switch when you walk into a room? It sure proved to be difficult for many of us here.

• The Hastings Police Department continues to have a significant presence around town, but they told us today that there have been no real issues that have surfaced as of yet. Many reserve officers are being used. They are all volunteers who are getting on-the-job training in law enforcement.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500
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