Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Wild Afternoon in Minneapolis

I was at home this afternoon in St. Paul, making myself a late lunch, when the tornado sirens went off. Turning on the television, my housemate and I were surprised to hear of reports of a tornado touchdown just across the river in Minneapolis.

Later when driving with my friend Connie to a meeting of the
Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) in South Minneapolis, I saw some of the storm damage on Portland Ave.

Fox 9 News reports that a tornado touched down just south of downtown Minneapolis. Apparently, “several fire departments reported seeing a tornado near the area of 35th Street and Portland Ave. and 15th and Lasalle Ave around 2 p.m.” According to Fox 9 News, the photo above depicts a “tornado touch down on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis.” The station also reports that “strong winds blew out the windows at the iconic Electric Fetus record store [in South Minneapolis].” Thankfully, no injuries are reported from this afternoon’s wild weather.

Following is the Star Tribune's report on today’s drama in the Twin Cities.


The afternoon storms . . . damaged the Minneapolis Convention Center and disrupted metro traffic with downed trees and floodwater, then heavily damaged a middle school in North Branch and dumped 4 to 6 inches of rain on parts of Chisago and Kanabec counties north of the Twin Cities. But there were no reported injuries.

About 2,100 Xcel Energy customers remained without power late Wednesday night as residents in a swath of south Minneapolis east of Interstate 35W and north of 50th Street surveyed the damage and considered how to remove massive trees and branches from streets, sidewalks and roofs. Extra police were ordered to patrol the neighborhoods Wednesday night, and officials urged people to avoid the area today, when some streets are expected to remain closed.

Although Twitter and other websites were filled with talk and pictures of an apparent twister above downtown Minneapolis, the National Weather Service confirmed only one tornado in Minnesota during the afternoon, in Cottage Grove near the River Oaks golf course near Hwys. 61 and 95 [right]. There were no reports of damage or injuries. A tornado was confirmed west of Mankato around 6:30 p.m. likewise without damage. More scattered thunderstorms were predicted through the night and into today as a cold front rolled through the region.

Above: This picture provided by Joe Bjordal, the communications manager at the Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, shows scattered large outdoor tents and chairs for the national Evangelical Lutheran Church in America convention. Strong winds, possibly from a tornado, moved through the city on Wednesday, August 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Joe Bjordal)

Recommended Off-site Link:
Tornado, Storms Cause Heavy Damage in Midwest - Nomaan Merchant (Associated Press, August 19, 2009).


Mark Andrews said...

Was anyone hurt? I hope not.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi Mark,

I've heard of no reports of people being injured.