One year ago: Hartland Tornado

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(ABC 6 News) – One year ago, an EF2 tornado tore through the small town of about 300 people. One year later, people in Hartland, Minn. are still in the process of rebuilding.

Hours after that tornado ripped through the downtown of Hartland, power lines were down and residents were without power for days. The roof of the Arcadian bank was torn off, and bricks from the building were scattered in the street.

Now, the community is rebuilding.

Brandon and Gage Flatness are father and son and also two of six generations within the Hartland Fire Department.

“My house it felt like a big truck hit my house, and I actually hadn’t even made it down the steps. I grabbed my fire department radio and was heading down the steps when I felt the hit, and I actually stopped because I thought something actually had hit the house,” Brandon said. “It was gone that fast it was quiet instantly within 15 seconds of noise.”

They said one of the most surprising parts of it all was the overwhelming support from the community.

“There wasn’t even enough room in this small town for all of the help that wanted to help us. That was probably the most impressive thing of the whole thing other than the actual event,” Brandon said.

That help continues nearly a year later.

Using FEMA funding, the Arcadian Bank was recently demolished. The new bank will be built in 2023. The post office has been temporarily operating out of the community center.

The Flatness’s said structures can be rebuilt. They are just thankful no lives were lost.

“We went and checked on people’s houses or the houses that were damaged the most and I mean like I said, no one was injured in the whole tornado,” Gage said. “Which is obviously a very, very good thing.”