By Jeff Wagner

SILVER LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Although the storm has come and gone, there’s quite the mess for some homeowners to clean up. Let alone, they’re likely in the dark.

The emergency management director says this could’ve been much worse had the tornado not been so rural.

“I could see the emergency services were already here, and I knew that was awful close to my house,” said Garry Bennett of Silver Lake.

A fishing trip up north for Bennett had a destructive ending at home.

“I’m not going to call it good. It’s bad, but I was telling some other folks obviously it could be worse,” he said.

Sunday’s tornado near Silver Lake uprooted and tangled the trees around his house.

“So yeah, I’ve got a maple tree that’s protecting my house right now from a poplar tree,” Bennett said. “A window looks like it just exploded.”

A utility pole snapped in his yard with the power line draping his driveway. Across Highway 7, his neighbor got it worse.

The tornado destroyed one garage and nearly toppled another. Amazingly, the home where everyone hid in the basement was untouched.

The flattened cornfield nearby helps paint a picture of just how wide the tornado was that passed through. Viewers sent us the above videos of the frightening cyclone that could’ve done significantly more damage had it chosen a different path.

“They hit a lot of the rural areas in McLeod county, so we don’t have any direct hits to any cities,” said Kevin Mathews, the McLeod County Emergency Management director.

Mathews says at least four properties experienced damage, mostly to trees and outbuildings. Those who didn’t get hit were quick to help others in need– a community effort that is likely just beginning.

“Very rewarding, it is so nice to hear. That’s the biggest thing is when I meet with homeowners is ‘Is everybody safe, is anybody hurt? Is everyone accounted for?’ And they say yes,” Mathews says.




Jeff Wagner