Cleanup begins after suspected tornado devastates town of Forada

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FORADA, Minn. (TSWT) — A suspected tornado tore through the small town of Forada in west-central Minnesota on Monday, leaving a trail of damaged homes and downed trees.

Drone footage captured by TSWT-TV shows extensive damage to homes near Maple Lake. Forada Fire Chief Stephen VanLuik said at least 75 structures were “totalled” or “severely damaged”.

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“To see it all disappear is amazing,” he said.

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“I really feel for the locals here in town,” he added. “They’ve been through a lot.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said power lines and fallen trees at one point blocked all roads leading into the town, located about 10 miles south of Alexandria. Crews have since disabled the downed lines and cleared the debris.

Officials worked through Monday night to begin the cleanup, and work continues on Tuesday.

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“It will be a huge task, obviously, and our first concern is always the safety of people,” said Julie Anderson of Douglas County Emergency Management.

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According to the authorities, so far no serious injuries or deaths have been reported. The town is home to about 160 people.

A tree uprooted by Monday’s storms fell on a house in Forada. The family was in the basement and is safe. (credit: TSWT)

While weather officials have yet to confirm that the damage in Forada was caused by a tornado, National Weather Service crews are investigating.

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Earlier Monday, another tornado was reported near Appleton, about 70 miles southwest of Forada.

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Two waves of severe weather hit Minnesota on Memorial Day, bringing heavy rain and damaging winds. Trees were snapped and uprooted across the state, and downed power lines left thousands of Minnesotans without power.

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