Authorities: 1 dead after tornadoes hit western Minnesota

Published 8:37 am Thursday, July 9, 2020

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DALTON, Minn. (AP) — Two powerful tornadoes damaged farms, left one person dead and at least one other injured in western Minnesota as severe storms moved across parts of the Midwest, authorities said.

The National Weather Service told the Otter Tail County sheriff’s office that two tornadoes touched down near Dalton between 5:10 and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Shannon Terry. One left a 6- to 9-mile (10- to 14-kilometer) trail of damage as it roared northeast.

Three farmsteads were hit, and one of those farmhouses was flattened, said meteorologist Vince Godon with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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Two people were taken to a hospital, according to Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons. Their conditions were unknown. The county later said in Twitter and Facebook posts that one fatality was confirmed.

Additional details weren’t immediately available and the county said updated information would be released later Thursday.

One tornado crossed Interstate 94 but no vehicles were affected, according to the weather service.

The tornadoes were two of several twisters reported across central and northern Minnesota, including in Todd, Wadena and Crow Wing counties, the Star Tribune reported.

A weather service staffer was at the scene checking the tornado aftermath, Godon said, but the tornado is believed to be at least in the EF-3 category, with winds of 136-165 mph (219-266 kph).

Other possible tornado activity was reported Wednesday in Colorado as well as parts of Nebraska and Illinois, the weather service said.

In Sedgwick County, Colorado, near the Nebraska state line, KDVR reports video from a trained weather spotter captured a tornado that caused property damage. No injuries were reported.