Authorities: 1 dead after tornado hits western Minnesota

1 dead in tornado

Severe storms that swept through parts of the Midwest produced at least one powerful tornado that damaged farms and killed one person and injured two others in western Minnesota, authorities said.

A 30-year-old man was killed near Dalton when a twister destroyed a large garage in which he was working Wednesday evening, said Otter Tail County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Van Dyke.

Two others were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Van Dyke said. He did not know where or how the two were injured.

Three farmsteads were hit, and one of those farmhouses was flattened, said meteorologist Vince Godon with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Weather service ground crews were working to confirm reports of additional tornadoes, meteorologist Daniel Robinson said Thursday.

“Having eyes on the ground, the survey teams can look for indicators of other possible touchdowns,” Robinson said.

Kathy Long VanVoorhis, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, said she was awakened by the storm early Thursday.

“We heard this crack outside our bedroom window and immediately got up, and we ran out and saw the tree had fallen," she said.

After that the tornado sirens started blaring, she said.

“We went outside and assessed our damage and decided there wasn’t much we could do, and went to the basement. We are safe and it didn’t hit our house, but hit our two cars.”

The tornado that caused the fatality is believed to be at least in the EF3 category, with winds of 136-165 mph, the weather service said. It left a 6-9-mile trail of damage as it roared northeast.

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