By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A tornado blamed for killing one person and injuring two others Wednesday evening may have been stronger than an EF-3.

That’s the latest from the National Weather Service after their initial assessments Thursday. The tornadoes touched down after five o’clock last night.

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WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle spoke with a survivor, who was in the same building as the man who died.

The tornado came straight through County Road 82 between Ashby and Dalton.

Nate Erickson told WCCO he and another employee at the repair shop, Seth Nelson, saw the tornado forming but didn’t immediately realize how serious the situation was.

When they saw it coming at them they quickly got inside and shut the doors. Nate recalls the terrifying moment, standing in the middle of the building, waiting for the tornado to hit.

“At first I was so full of regret for standing out there and laughing at it, I had no respect for the situation at all,” Erickson said. “I honestly did not think I was going to live through that experience. I guess just as I was getting blown around under there I literally thought I was going to die.”

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Nate said he called out for Seth. With dirt in his eyes and ears, he couldn’t see or hear him.

“You crawl out of that hole and everything is completely gone,” he said.

Erickson later learned, Seth, a 30-year old husband and father, didn’t make it.

“There’s no replacing him, not only just here but in his personal life,” Erickson explained. “Everybody that knew him really enjoyed him.”

Erickson says he understands how lucky he is to be able to go home to his wife and 10-month-old.

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A GoFundMe has been set up for the family of Seth Nelson. If you’d like to donate, click here.

Jennifer Mayerle