Severe thunderstorms and a possible tornado damaged at least half of Forada, Minnesota, a city 70 miles southeast of St. Cloud, on Monday, a county official said.
A suspected tornado touched down near the western Minnesota city, bringing torrential rain and wind gusts that reached a suspected 80 miles per hour. City officials have not reported any injuries or deaths.
It ripped apart homes and buildings in Douglas County, Minnesota, with Forada taking a direct hit.
“I’ve lived here 35 years and it rips your heart apart,” Stephen VanLuik, Forada’s fire chief, told WCCO-TV.
Vanluik estimates up to 100 buildings and homes were demolished in this city of around 160 residents. First responders had to clear through debris that blocked roads into the town before they could go door to door and check on residents.
“I’ve never seen nothing like this. Not even in your wildest dreams. I’ve seen on TV tornadoes that have hit other communities and you always go ‘Never here.’ but it did,” said Vanluik.
Dangerous wind gusts uprooted trees and snapped power lines, leaving thousands in the area without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.
One resident said he heard “three booms” and saw sparks on a powerline during the storms.
The storms stretched into Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where winds barreled through tearing the roofs off homes and sending trees into cars.
“Glad nobody is hurt, glad it’s only this damage. Vehicles are replaceable, lives are not,” Sioux Falls resident Lisa Brunick said.
First published on May 31, 2022 / 9:43 AM
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