ST. JAMES, Minn. (WCCO) — Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in southern Minnesota wreaked havoc Thursday night. One of the most severely-hit properties belongs to Dan Barnum.
The touchdown tore apart his machine shed: huge poles were ripped out of the ground and metal sheets were spread across the fields. Volunteers helped with cleanup on Friday, especially with clearing up debris from a large cottonwood stand.
“My grandfather planted them back in the 1890s. So they’re gone,” Barnum said.
That same tornado then touched down near a large cattle operation off of Highway 71. It tore apart a grain bin and a feed shed but spared all the cattle.
From Wabasso, the storm swept an hour east to St. James. You can see the damage at a Jennie-O turkey farm in St. James. Winds reaching 78 miles per hour hit the city around 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Two of the three turkey barns were severely damaged, and about 16 thousand turkeys were in each barn. It is unknown if the turkeys were injured.
In addition to the strong winds, rain and hail pummeled the area– and the hail was still visible on the ground 11 hours later.
There is a lot of work to still be done in southwestern Minnesota in the days to come.