Destructive storm caused by factors working in concert
WILLMAR -- Friday night's tornado left about nine miles of damage south of Willmar, on a track from near Priam to County Road 8, according to Don Ericson, Kandiyohi County emergency management director.
The storm followed a line along County Road 19 with significant damage, including two homes destroyed along the road between U.S. Highway 71 and County Road 8.
The preliminary tally included three homes destroyed, five homes damaged and three turkey barns destroyed. Two businesses, Arnold's of Willmar and Kandi Trailer Sales, sustained damage. Two minor injuries, not requiring transport to the hospital, were reported to authorities, Ericson said.
Ann Rossell, emergency room nursing supervisor at Rice Memorial Hospital, said one person was treated and released for tornado-related injuries, but no other details were available.
As of 10 p.m., law enforcement officers were continuing to cordon off areas where power lines were down. Linemen from Kandiyohi Power Cooperative, Xcel Energy and Great River Energy were working together to get the power back on, Ericson said.
The power outages were affecting a small number of residents, he added, but those folks were going to have to wait at least 12 hours for power to be restored.
Officials will begin full assessment of the damage at 9 a.m. today, Ericson said.
Emergency management and building officials and officials will work their way through each of the damaged homes and structures.
Friday night's storm was caused by several weather factors working in concert, according to Tony Zaleski, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Chanhassen.
The very warm moist air at the surface, a cold front coming from the west and a potent, strong jet stream combined to spawn the tornado. Officials will not know how big the twister was, or if it was multiple tornadoes, until damage surveys can be completed, he added.
A boundary, usually from a warm front, is what is needed to spawn a tornado, Zaleski said. This time, a cold front provided the boundary.