Chassell boat lift blown away

CHASSELL – The storm that blew through the Copper Country on Thursday morning was powerful enough to blow Tom Heikkinen’s boat lift two houses down – with the boat attached to it.

“You couldn’t see the lake from the house,” he said, looking at the boat, which had come to rest upside down against a dock. “That’s how bad it was.”

The boat and lift needed enough height to clear Heikkinen’s neighbor’s dock and jet ski on Half Moon Beach Road in Chassell Township.

Getting the boat out wasn’t Heikkinen’s first task. About 11:30 a.m., Heikkinen was running power into his house to keep his refrigerator running.

“All we’ve been doing all day is cleaning, cleaning,” he said.

Though power was coming back online for some customers early in the afternoon, Patty Sotirin expected a longer wait. A tree from an alley adjacent to her home in downtown Chassell blew down about 7:15 a.m., taking a power line with it.

A tree had taken down at older power line at her house next year. Upper Peninsula Power Co. had sent her a notice that they would do clearing. Sotirin said they may have been delayed due to the amount of snow that remained in the alley through the spring.

“I was up at 4:30 getting a drink of water, and it didn’t seem like it was that bad,” she said. “We got up at 7:20 and the power was out.”