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GALLERY: See the incredible damage high winds caused to the Aitkin County Fairgrounds

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT
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AITKIN, MN -- High winds Wednesday afternoon destroyed three buildings and damaged seven others.

“[I] came down here and checked on the fairgrounds expecting everything to be intact and got here and that was a completely different story,” said Kirk Peysar, Secretary and Treasurer for the Aitkin County Fair Board.

By the time Peysar arrived, the winds had caused considerable damage to the property.

One 5,000-square-foot storage building was ripped apart as wooden supports and metal sheets flew hundreds of yards away.

Several buildings also had minor structural damage, as doors and roofs were ripped off.

The fair is scheduled to open on July 6, but with just 8 weeks to go, crews will need to clear the debris first.

“We were just in kind of the final stages of fair preparation, securing materials and services that we need,” said Peysar.

Maintenance director Bob Jackson is confident they’ll have it all ready to go in time.

“Two weeks from now, you won’t know this [happened]. This stuff will all be picked up, but it’s gonna take a couple of weeks to do it,” he said.

There’s no cost estimate on the damage, but Peysar believes insurance money will cover most if not all of the cost.

As of now, there are no plans to delay the start of the fair.

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