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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...

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.

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"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.

Related Topics: SPICER
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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