Fisherman dies when storm capsizes boat in Itasca County

  • Associated Press
  • July 3, 2012 - 5:13 PM

PENGILLY, Minn. - Authorities in northern Minnesota recommended limited travel in residential areas Tuesday as they dealt with downed trees and power lines in the wake of severe storms that killed a fisherman.

Roy Jasper Flug, 49, of Goodland, was fishing on Swan Lake on Monday when the storm hit and capsized his boat, the Itasca County Sheriff's Department said.

Flug's body was recovered Tuesday in about 8 1/2 feet of water. A man who was with Flug was able to swim to shore. He told authorities that Flug was swept out into the water by high winds and the current. Flug was not wearing a lifejacket.

Meanwhile, Lake Country Power Co. said it could be several days before electricity is restored to 10,000 customers without power. The sheriff's department reported "an extreme amount of property damage" in several communities along the U.S. Highway 2 corridor.

High winds were also reported in Cass Lake, Grand Rapids and Bemidji.

Grand Rapids police Chief Jim Denny told the Duluth News Tribune he had reports of winds near 80 mph.

"I haven't seen winds like this whip through here in my time," he said. "It's pretty bad with the trees down."

He asked that travel be limited due to extensive damage in the city and warned residents to stay away from downed power lines.

Bemidji officials expected storm cleanup to take at least a week after straight line winds gusted to 80 mph and knocked out power to 90 percent of the city at one point.

Diamond Point Park was badly damaged and more than half its trees were damaged by the winds. City engineer Craig Gray told the Bemidji Pioneer the park is closed until further notice.

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