Minnesota Cleaning Up After Heavy Rain, Tornadoes

LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. (WCCO) – Folks in Blue Earth and Nicollet counties are picking up after a tornado.

It hit last night, damaging crops and buildings and taking out some power lines.

Monday afternoon the National Weather Service confirmed it was a tornado that touched down just north of Lake Crystal along 505th Avenue.

Sunday night was a quiet night, until things got loud and violent outside.

“The lightning came in more and more frequency, and then it just got louder and louder and louder,” homeowner Mike Johnson said.

Mike and his wife Mary have lived in their house 34 years, but never seen storm damage like this.

The wind knocked the chimney off, crushed two old barns in their backyard and snapped an old spruce tree. It just missed hitting their home.

“The structure’s sound yet and the siding’s OK, the roof’s OK, so I’m pretty lucky I guess as far as how it could’ve been if the tree had fallen directly on the house,” Mike Johnson said.

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Across the road at Jay Utter’s house, more than 40 trees are split or down. One fell across his front deck. A garage door is now impaled by a branch.

“It felt like a freight train was going by. And it depressurized the house, too, so it was like, my ears popped,” Utter said.

Between houses, along hundreds of acres of crops, along County Road 20 and county Road 11, the wind flattened rows of corn. Some stalks are snapped at the base.

Crews are also working to restore power lines and poles that were knocked down.

“Nobody’s hurt, that’s the good thing,” Utter said.

The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department says 600 acres of crops were flattened in this area.

Fortunately no injuries have been reported.

The National Weather Service determined two tornadoes touched down Sunday night: an EF-1 in Blue Earth County and an EF-0 in Nicollet County.

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