Sunday, December 3

Southeast Minnesota communities hit hard by Tuesday night storm

TAOPI, Minn. — As the sun rises Wednesday morning, April 13, emergency officials will get a better look at storm damage around Southeast Minnesota. Early reports include damage to buildings, grain bins and downed power lines.

The National Weather Service in La Crosse said there were radar-derived rotation tracks in Mower County and Winona County. Damage was reported in both areas.

“At 10:37 p.m. a Tornado Warning was issued for southeast Mower County,” Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik wrote in an email Wednesday morning. “Shortly after that warning, 911 calls regarding multiple damaged homes and trapped residents from the Taopi area were received.”

Mower County Sheriff’s deputies along with Adams and LeRoy Fire and others responded to the calls for help. Two residents trapped in their basement were rescued and taken to Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin for evaluation and treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Areas of the community were searched and evacuated and shelter was supplied to three families while others sheltered with family or friends.

Mower County Public Works and local utility companies responded to down power lines, gas leaks and debris.

Storm survey teams will be looking at some of those areas of damage Wednesday morning to get further information on the storm and confirm whether a tornado touched down anywhere in southeastern Minnesota, according to National Weather Service in La Crosse meteorologist Jeff Makowski.

Mower County Emergency Manager Amy Lammey is asking for pictures to be shared to

[email protected]

for damage assessment in Taopi.

Damage reports were not limited to Taopi. Makowski said damage reports were also received from Spring Valley as well as some communities in Winona and Fillmore counties.

Taopi - Mower County map

Tuesday’s storms hit in two parts. Thunderstorms blew through in the mid-to-late afternoon hours bringing some generally small hail, from pea- to quarter-size, according to Makowski.

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During the evening hours, more storms moved across the state from west to east and produced strong wind gusts in some areas and heavy swaths of rain in others.

While clean up begins Wednesday morning, there is some good news. The severe weather threat has shifted east of Minnesota. The National Weather Service in La Crosse does note a chance for flooding for the Middle Fork Whitewater River near Whitewater State Park.

Temperatures are forecast to drop off the next few days and a considerable cool down is expected bringing temperatures down from the 50s and 60s of the earlier week down into the 30s and low 40s, according to Makowski.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with more information.

Screenshot 2022-04-13 072414.jpg

National Weather Service storm reports from Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

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