Storm gathered momentum as it moved over Spicer area
SPICER -- Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog said a tornado was sighted on the ground at 4:42 p.m. Tuesday southwest of Spicer.
Spotters reported that it traveled on the ground northeast for seven to eight miles, part of that over Green Lake. It was last reported on County Road 4 near the fishing pier just before 5 p.m.
Kandiyohi County Emergency Management issued a statement Tuesday evening saying that no storm-related injuries had been reported.
Hartog said there was a lot of tree and roof damage. The storm also damaged a horse barn west of Spicer.
A survey of the damage on the ground is the only way to confirm if it was indeed a tornado that caused the damage in Spicer, said Mike Griesinger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"It's usually pretty easy to tell from the debris pattern," he added.
The first storm reports from law enforcement in the Spicer area reached the National Weather Service about 4:45 p.m., he said.
The radar activity at the time indicated that a tornado certainly was possible, and he wouldn't be surprised to see it confirmed, Griesinger said.
There was a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado warning in effect at the time.
The storm strengthened west of Willmar, "sputtered a bit, and then fired back up around the Spicer area," he said.
Griesinger said he had heard reports of tree damage and roof damage by early evening but not that much major structural damage. "If there was one, at least for the moment it sounds weak," he said.
-- Staff writer Carolyn Lange contributed to this report.