The Clarks Grove Tornado: One Year Later

March 06, 2018 11:35 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- One year ago on Tuesday a tornado tore through the small town of Clarks Grove.

 On the anniversary, the community is recounting how it has spent the last year rebuilding.


 Gary Olson, who manages a trailer park in the town, still remembers the day it happened, "debris all over, trees, sheds. Yeah, it was a mess."

 The EF 1 tornado was the first one Olson had ever experienced in his 15 years of living there. 

"We were pretty fortunate because if it had been a little further east in our block or so, it could have taken the whole community out,” said Olson.

The National Weather Service confirmed winds from the tornado reached speeds up to 100 miles-per-hour, which left behind a trail of damage.

Freeborn County Emergency Management Director, Rich Hall, says there was so much damage the city had to take immediate action.

 "We declared a state of emergency and then we also declared, the state of Minnesota declared a state disaster and so funds were released to the county and the city of Clarks Grove,” said Hall.

 According to the Hall, the city received $550,000 dollars in disaster aid.

 "With the recovery efforts, things are rebuilding, people rebuilt, the businesses rebuilt, and now the city is doing so as well with their new fire hall,” said Hall.

 On Tuesday, the one year anniversary, Mother Nature has both men laughing as a winter storm clean up begins.

 "It's Minnesota, you never know what's coming next,” said Hall.

 Hall says most buildings have been restored but some including the fire station still need some work.


Roxanne Elias

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