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One injured, buildings damaged after tornado touches down in Hubbard, Wadena counties in Minnesota

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Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

UPDATED 12:13 p.m.

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PARK RAPIDS, Minn. - At least one person was injured and several structures, including a mobile home, after a tornado touched down in Hubbard County, Minn.

Linda Eischens of the Hubbard County Sheriff's Department said a funnel cloud was sighted in the county about 9:15 a.m. and the tornado touched down sometime between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

Officers were in the area checking on the damage but as of 11 a.m. there had been no reports of injuries, Eischens said.

However, The Park Rapids Enterprise, a Forum Communications Co. newspaper, began reporting storm damage reports before going to press Friday morning.

The Enterprise reported damage in northern Wadena and Hubbard Counties.

Chris Leritz was injured when a tornado hit the Jennie-O turkey barns near Menahga. He was hospitalized at St. Joseph's Area Health Services Friday morning.

According to his mother, Leritz was tossed 15 feet into the air and thrown into a turkey barn, according to the Enterprise.

Power also was knocked out in the area and reports of outages were still coming in.

At press time, the Enterprise reported the heaviest damage appeared to be in the Emmaville area but tornado sightings were still being reported in the area at 11:30 a.m.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., severe weather conditions disrupted power at the Park Rapids substation affecting Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative members in the area. Additional outages have been reported throughout the service area, including downed lines north of Hubbard County Road 40.

A tornado watch remains in effect for most of northwestern Minnesota, including Clay and Becker counties, until 4 p.m. Friday.

At 10:38 a.m. radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado three miles west of Badoura, Minn., or 43 miles south of Bemidji, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service advises that anyone in the path of a tornado abandon mobile homes and cars and take shelter in a sturdy building.

Overnight, more than an inch of rain fell in the Fargo-Moorhead area, but there were no reports of hail.

The F-M area also was hit late Friday morning with a downpour, but rainfall totals aren't available.

For developments and updates to this story, read www.inforum.com and Saturday's Forum.

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