Tornado touches down in Austin — PHOTOS

Published 9:07 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One injury is confirmed after a tornado touched down in Austin at approximately 8:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Patrons at the Windrift Lounge on 11th Street Northeast, across from Todd Park, reported that one man inside an outdoor stage was flipped several times inside the structure before coming to a stop in the parking lot. The man was transported by ambulance to the hospital. There have been no other confirmed reports of injuries sustained from the storm.

Much of Austin remains without power and cell phone service after the tornado grazed the northern and northwestern sides of Austin, hitting the Mapleview, River Oaks Golf Course and Todd Park areas. Fences were down and trees toppled over in the baseball complex. Power lines were leaning along 11th Street Northeast. The power went out around 8:25 p.m.

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Tenants of a home on 236th Street said they feel lucky a large tree fell away from their home.

“We were in the basement, but we looked in the back window and their was a lot of wind,” said Justin Molina, 13. “It just happened that none of the trees fell on the house.”

A few members of the family of six were home at the time but said their neighbors to the east were not home.

“We were lucky,” said Sanjuana Molina, a Texas native who has experienced hurricanes. “We’ve never been in this kind of situation.”

A tornado from the same system was reported on the ground near Corning shortly after 8:10 p.m.

As of 8:45 p.m. the tornado was said to be on the ground near Adams.

The National Weather Service was tracking a tornado near Rose Creek at 8:34 p.m., moving southeast at 15 mph.

It was expected to be near Le Roy and Taopi around 9:15 p.m.

U.S. Highway 218 was closed north of Austin due to downed power lines.

A tornado was also reported on the ground east of Owatonna. Around 8:50 p.m. reports said the tornado was no longer on the ground and was moving east toward Claremont. At 9:10 p.m., a dangerous part of the storm was nearing Hayfield.

Many areas of Freeborn County lost power around 8:10 p.m., with power returning in 20 minutes.

The National Weather Service first issued a tornado warning for Freeborn County at 6:35 p.m. with the most dangerous part of the storm about four miles north of Freeborn moving north east at 10 mph.

Rotation was later spotted near Geneva after 7 p.m. Spotters in Ellendale reported a system hovering over Interstate 35 around that time. Debris was also reported near the interstate.

Click here to see National Weather Service radar.