MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The National Weather Service says there was a record number of September tornadoes that struck southern Minnesota last Thursday.

Kamp Dels campground in Waterville (credit: CBS)

They say there is preliminary number of 15 confirmed tornadoes that tore through these Minnesota communities on the evening of Sept. 20: Cannon Falls, Dundas, Faribault, Granada, Janesville, Lake Elysian, Medford, Morristown, Owatonna, Northfield, Prairie Island, Wanamingo, Waterville and Zumbrota.

Storm damage at Faribault’s municipal airport (credit: CBS)

The most powerful tornado — an E2 on the Fujita scale — hit Morristown and Faribault, reaching speeds between 120 and 130 miles per hour. Several homes in Morristown were destroyed, and Faribault’s municipal airport sustained major damage.

The other 14 tornadoes that hit Minnesota were weak ones that were rated either EF0 or EF1, with speeds between 65 and 80 miles per hour.

A 16th tornado of the evening struck Ellsworth, Wis.

The National Weather Service says the previous September record holder was on the exact same day last year, when eight confirmed tornadoes touched down between Alexandria and Willmar.

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