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Clean Up In St. Michael After Confirmed Tornado Hits

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

ST. MICHAEL, Minn. (WCCO) — Storms rocked homes as it rolled through parts of Minnesota Wednesday night and St. Michael is recovering from what may have been a tornado.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit just before 8 p.m. and seemed to be concentrated to one neighborhood. One home was severely hit. Other neighbors say they just made it to safety before the winds hurled play sets, a large trampoline, fences and other debris through the air.

People in that St. Michael neighborhood say despite the damage, they’re profoundly grateful and don’t mind spending the day cleaning up — young and old.

Dan Steinbach’s home was badly hit with the garage and half the house ripped open

“Just a big rush and then the window popped,” he said.

Steinbach said he saw a funnel cloud and then took cover in a crawl space with his wife and two daughters.

“We’re all OK so that’s all that matters,” he said.

His neighbors fared better than he did. Right next door Deborah Cabellero and her children were outside when they saw the funnel and ran inside.

“The sirens went off and then within probably 30 seconds the tornado came through and we heard the train-like noise that they say you hear,” said Cabellero.

Another neighbor’s trampoline landed like a missile in her yard. That trampoline belonged to Dana Riley. Five minutes before the tornado hit, four of Dana’s seven young children were on that trampoline.

“We are very, very blessed to be here and to know that we are safe and our kids are fine and nobody was injured. There is a lot of damage but otherwise we are really happy that it turned out the way that it did,” said Riley.

The National Weather Service was in the area doing a preliminary assessment and determined the tornado had an approximately path of three miles and reached maximum wind speeds near 90 mph.

According to the NWS, Steinbach’s damaged home was near the end of the tornado’s path.

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