The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday that a tornado struck about 50 miles north of the Twin Cities early Saturday morning, mangling docks and damaging boats on West Rush Lake.
The NWS was also looking at damage from Saturday night’s hazardous weather in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin and confirmed three other tornadoes: One that traveled from Woodbury to Afton, one in northwest Isanti County near Ogilvie, and one that began near Hastings and ended near River Falls, Wis. The NWS rated the first one as capable of causing light damage and the other two capable of causing moderate damage.
The NWS received no damage reports from the tornado near Afton. The one that ended in Wisconsin caused extensive tree damage with trees snapped halfway up the trunk and damaged some outbuildings, according to the Weather Service.
The tornado in Chisago County’s West Rush Lake, rated as an EF-0, touched down around 1 a.m. Saturday. Jeremiah Sedler, whose family lives on the lake, said the intense winds blew off the garage door of their home and ripped off the boat lift cover. Their canoe was tossed into the water and sank.
“We were in the basement and the sound coming in was completely calm and then sounds like a freight train rolling through,” he recalled Sunday in a phone interview.
Damage to neighboring docks and boats was worse than what his family experienced over the weekend, he said.
The NWS in La Crosse, Wis., confirmed a tornado in northern Trempealeau County. That tornado touched down a few miles southwest of Osseo, Wis., just before 1 a.m. Sunday, with estimated peak winds of 105 mph.
Meteorologist Nicole Batzek said a crew was out Sunday afternoon near Osseo, where one outbuilding was damaged. Trees were toppled and some crops damaged, she said.
Staff writer Mara Klecker contributed to this report.
by Kim Hyatt (2020, July 20) Star Tribune