|August 26 2006
Nicollet County Tornado Damage
|My heartfelt thanks to the families and property owners who allowed me to photograph their losses resulting
from the devistating August 24th long track tornado and to the individuals who arranged for me to witness a
first hand initial survey of the damage path. I have deliberately left these photos in a larger format to show
the detail of the damage. All of the individuals we spoke to were extremely thankful for the efforts bythe
NWS-MPX WFO, SKYWARN spotters and the chasers for their roles in making sure the warnings were
getting out. Undoubtedly multiple lives were saved this day. Out of respect for the privacy of the
landowners and homeowners, the names and exact locations of the following damages shots are being
|Further east the torn just misses a hog operation and heads into the corn. A couple of mobile
cattle chutes where thrown into the legs of a feeder ripping one right out of the concrete. Note
the direction of the leaning corn stalks on both sides.
|Power sub-station with transformers tipped over with the concrete slabs still attached. Kudos
to Excel Energy for repairing the rest of the damage so quickly.
|V snow plow pushed several feet to the south. This used to be the storage garage for the
township. No idea how much this weighs but note it would have been facing aerodynamically
into the wind and it still moved. Remember, this goes on the front of one of the big trucks.
|Note Excel Energy already put up new poles and strung new wires in the back. This is
looking northwest at the standing portion of the townhall. Pieces of debris were found 1-3
miles east of this location from this building.
|These are the remains of a 4 level home. This was not new construction. The home was built
by the occupant in 1974 and had EXTRA anchors into the foundation. The tornado pulled
the washers and nuts right through the plates. The area covered by the brown tarp is the area
where the family survived. The owner used trussed floors and likely was the difference which
saved thier lives. The pile in the back is how the debris fell. Note the stripped trees.
|Typical of the anchors on the south side of the house. The plates were pulled right off the
anchors. An excercise treadmill origianlly in the east side of the basement was found nearly 150
yards away in a gulley.
|This Jeep Cherokee SUV started out inside a garage approximatel 50 feet away. One of the
survivors in the home pulled up in the vehicle only minutes before the tornado hit. He recalled
seeing three vorticies merge into one about 1/4 mile west of the house as he peered out of a
basement window before ducking out of the way.
|Interior block wall between the 3rd and 4th levels (the two lowest and both with floors below
ground level). Totally seperated at the base as the tornado tried to pull the trussed floor over the
lowest level off. In my opinion, the use of the block as opposed to a standard wall kept the
lowest level covered and intact with the occupants inside.
|The owner of the Jeep stated he just filled the gas tank up. Note what it is resting on. I assume
the tools and gas can were being used by the guys running the chain saws. This family is
amazing. As we were examining the damage and recording the data, they brought us bottled
water and even offered to cook us some food on the charcoal grill! They repeatedly thank the
NWS for getting the warnings out and were truley grateful for still having eachother.