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Published on Jul 6, 2012
Brainerd lakes area residents got more than they bargained for Wednesday night while attending Fourth of July fireworks' events in Baxter.
The lights in the sky were not all fireworks as a severe thunderstorm barreled through the lakes area offering residents plenty of lightning strikes that lit up the sky.
Residents lined up along Highway 371 in Baxter, filled up the empty field between Target and Mills Body Works and surrounding areas to watch Brainerd/Baxter's fireworks through the early part of the storm. The fireworks show was cut short by the storm when the National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth issued a tornado warning for Crow Wing, Cass, Wadena, Morrison and Todd counties. Sirens went off three times during the night and law enforcement authorities asked fireworks watchers to go home and seek shelter because of the storm.
The fireworks were started before the NWS prompted the first siren blasts for the tornado warning. Once started, the firework display couldn't be stopped.