Major severe weather, including possible tornados, hit west central and southern Minnesota over weekend

The severe weather that had been expected to hit west central Minnesota over the holiday weekend did materialize. There were reports of a tornado near Appleton and Milan late afternoon Monday, as well as high winds, hail and rain throughout the area. Power outages, trees down and damage to structures were reported.

The National Weather Service reported a tornado struck a farm about 3:30 p.m. approximately 3 miles north of Milan in Chippewa County. This tornado photo was posted by Jtilly via Twitter.
Courtesy @JTillyPGA / Twitter
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WILLMAR — There were multiple reports of storm damage caused by nearly three days of stormy weather across west central and southern Minnesota over the Memorial Day weekend. This included reports of tornadoes.

Around 3:30 p.m. Monday there were unconfirmed reports of a tornado near the cities of Appleton and Milan in Chippewa County. One report from the National Weather Service said the tornado hit a farm about three miles north of Milan. The family was able to take shelter.

Eagle Creek Golf Course storm damage on May 30, 2022
Eagle Creek Golf Course storm damage on May 30, 2022<br/>
Submitted / Peter Hannig

There was also reports from a storm spotter around 4:10 p.m. Monday of a rain-wrapped tornado on the ground about three miles west of Starbuck in Pope County. Tree damage, a pickup truck towing a trailer rolling and damage to a camper were all reported near Starbuck, according to a NWS report.

There were also social media reports of heavy rain and hail around the Appleton and Milan areas.

Olivia area tree damage
Thunderstorm winds early Monday (May 30, 2022) morning blew down five trees on a farmstead north of Olivia, Minn.
Contributed / Trisha Lindrud

High wind gusts were reported all over the area on Monday, starting with an 84 mph gust at around 3:55 a.m. in Olivia. A grain bin was blown onto U.S. Highway 212 early Monday about 1 mile east-northeast of Sacred Heart in Renville County.


Monday afternoon a wind gust of 65 mph was reported at 3:20 p.m. about 3 miles west-southwest of Graceville in Big Stone County; a gust of 67 mph was reported at 4:05 p.m at the Benson Airport in Swift County; and a wind gust of 63 mph was reported at 3:25 p.m. at the Madison Airport in Lac qui Parle County.

NWS collected storm reports from Belgrade reporting trees down and power out around 4:19 a.m. Monday.

There was tornado damage reported to NWS in Forada and Maples Lake in Douglas County, southwest of Alexandria.

The storms also caused several communities to either move their Memorial Day events indoors or canceled them outright.

Earlier Saturday, Furniture Plus in Willmar found half of its roof peeled up Sunday morning, believed to have been caused by a quick burst of wind during a storm around 8 a.m.

Furniture Plus roof damage May 29 2022
Part of the roof of Furniture Plus in Willmar was damaged in a storm Sunday morning. There was no damage inside the store.
Linda Vanderwerf / West Central Tribune
The risk for severe weather in Minnesota for the holiday weekend continues to grow, according to the National Weather Service Twin Cities. Following a small line of storms Sunday morning, damage has already being reported. Furniture Plus in Willmar had part of its roof torn up by a quick burst of what is believed to have been some straight line winds. The forecast is calling for even more chances of severe weather from Sunday evening through Monday evening.
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Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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