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December 10, 2018

12/6/2018 8:17:00 AM
Crew grinds out 9 million pounds of wood chips in CF
by Ken Haggerty

After the tornadic storms ripped through the Cannon Falls area on September 20, one of the biggest problems was what to do with all of the downed trees and branches.

The Cannon Falls Public Works Department organized a dumping area at its yards along the river, and multiple massive piles soon built up.

Public Works director Mike Althoff arranged for Dakota Wood Grinding to come in and dispose of the piles.

The company brought in a trailer mounted grinder and grappler along with two front-end loaders and three to four semis.

Dakota Wood Grinding has three of these massive and powerful grinding units and has been busy in Owatonna and Faribault as well these past few months, turning downed trees and branches into wood chips.

The grinder has a 1,050 horsepower, 12-cylinder engine that can turn out 40-tons of wood chips an hour as the swiveling grappler feeds it brush and logs. Some of the logs are two to three feet in diameter.

The wood chips from Cannon Falls were hauled to the District Energy heat and power plant that burns them and supplies steam for downtown St. Paul. There is no charge to Cannon Falls.

Althoff says Dakota Wood Grinding worked for about four weeks in Cannon Falls. They hauled out 226 twenty-ton loads of wood chips. That adds up to about nine-million pounds.

They expect to return to Cannon Falls in the spring and grind and haul another 60-80 semi-loads of the bio-mass material.

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