48-tornado outbreak lingers in memory 4 years later - KMSP-TV

48-tornado outbreak lingers in memory 4 years later

Posted: Updated:
HOLLDANDALE, Minn. (KMSP) -

It's been 4 years to the day since a record 48 tornadoes touched down in Minnesota, leaving 3 dead, many injured and a wake of damage and destruction that affected communities across the state.

For those who endured it, the tragedy seems to live on where it's hardest to erase -- in their minds. The historic outbreak brought vicious twisters that tore through small towns, including Hollandale, Minn. Nearly 300 buildings were damaged, and some residents lost their homes and businesses. Others, like Amanda Sommer and her children, were unscathed.

"We huddled down and said our prayers and heard it go over us," she recalled.

Sommer's oldest daughter, Brenna, was only 4 years old when the tornado came to town -- but she hasn't forgotten.

"I don't want that to happen again," Brenna Sommer said. "It really scared me."

Somehow, the swirling vortex skipped over their home -- and the Sommers are often left to wonder why.

"Why did it skip over us and our neighbors, who are hard-working across the field, lost everything?" Amanda Sommer asked.

Just a few miles from Hollandale, Sheriff Bob Kindler told Fox 9 News he remembers what the tornado outbreak did to Albert Lea.

"There were at least two tornadoes that touched down on the first storm and at least 30 homes that were destroyed, and -- of course -- one fatality in that mobile home," he remembered.

In one way or another, everyone in the town of 18,000 was affected by the wreckage left behind on June 17, 2010. Now, Bruce Jensen -- who owns a home about 3 miles outside of Albert Lea in Maple Island, Minn. -- admits he's worried about what the rest of the summer might hold for him. The intense rain and wind that set upon the area on Monday cost him 10 trees -- some of which were ripped in two.

A large tree splintered and barely missed Jensen's pick-up truck. By Tuesday, it had been lugged and shredded -- but his work isn't finished. His garage is now fragile and leaning.

"A good wind, I think she'll go," he lamented. "I had my Harley in there, lawn mower."

Despite it all, however, Jensen said his spirits are high. That's because the damage on his hands is nothing compared to what the folks who live in Wadena endured.

"I just couldn't believe the damage," Police Chief Naomi Plautz admitted. "There's still a small hole in our heart."

Most of the wreckage in Wadena has been cleared, but the same cannot be said for the wicked memories.

"Even though it was 4 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday," Plautz said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • When hope was gone, parents turned to Google to save baby

    When hope was gone, parents turned to Google to save baby

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:11:34 GMT

    They were told by multiple doctors that there was no way to save their baby. That's when they took matters into their own hands, and it ended up being the right choice.

    They were told by multiple doctors that there was no way to save their baby. That's when they took matters into their own hands, and it ended up being the right choice.

  • Dallas officer placed on leave for not helping frantic mother

    Dallas officer placed on leave for not helping frantic mother

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:18:27 GMT
    A Dallas police officer is on administrative leave following the Monday chase and deadly shooting of a man who had taken his children at gunpoint from their mother.
    A Dallas police officer is on administrative leave following the Monday chase and deadly shooting of a man who had taken his children at gunpoint from their mother.
  • 28 new foods at Minnesota State Fair in 2014

    28 new foods at Minnesota State Fair in 2014

    Wednesday, June 25 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-06-25 18:57:53 GMT
    The Minnesota State Fair is adding 28 new foods to the already massive, artery-clogging list of 500 foods from 300 different vendors. New food include everything from a bacon-wrapped turkey leg and beer gelato to a shrimp dog and chocolate salami.
    The Minnesota State Fair is adding 28 new foods to the already massive, artery-clogging list of 500 foods from 300 different vendors. New food include everything from a bacon-wrapped turkey leg and beer gelato to a shrimp dog and chocolate salami.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices