Severe Weather: Tornadoes

(ABC 6 News) – As spring continues, we are starting to approach our peak season for tornadoes in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

Peak tornado season in Minnesota occurs in May and June, but as we learned in 2021, tornadoes can happen in any season.

“We’ve had tornado outbreaks as early as March and then… let’s not forget up, until December 2021, Minnesota had never had a December tornado” elaborated Meteorologist Todd Shea from the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis.

There are basics in tornado safety such as going to the basement or the lowest level interior room or closet of the building you are in.

If you are in a car, you want to get to the nearest, safe shelter you can as cars can be tossed by the tornado. You also want to bring in any loose objects that would blow around. The key to tornado safety is having a plan before a tornado strikes.

“You’re better off thinking a little bit ahead of time going to a building, finding some kind of shelter to get to,” added Shea.

In 2010, Minnesota had 113 tornadoes, the most of any state in the U.S. that year. Nearly half of those touched down on June 17.

Harlan Kruger from Clarks Grove was out of town with his wife on vacation during the storms. When he came back, “there’s nothing left, and I just kind of started losing it there. My wife started crying. I wanted to call home to see what my parents knew or my friends knew.”

Despite losing their house to an EF-4 tornado, Harlan and his family did take some action ahead of the tornado to ensure they did not lose some of their most prized possessions. “There was one room of the house that wasn’t touched, and that one room had some of our most precious belongings in it luckily.”

Looking back in history, it was a tornado that started Mayo Clinic. In 1883, a devastating tornado hit Rochester.

The Mayo family of doctors along with the sisters of St. Francis jumped in to help create a makeshift hospital, which later became Saint Marys hospital and the Mayo Clinic we know today.

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