Remembering the 1981 tornado

9:05 AM, Jun 15, 2010   |    comments
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ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- It's been nearly 30 years since a tornado ripped through the heart of the Twin Cities killing two people and injuring dozens more.

Some recall it as the Edina tornado, others refer to it as the Har Mar tornado, but no matter the name, the memories are the same.

"Anybody who was around in the Twin Cities, June 14, 1981 will probably remember where they were when this tornado hit," says Pete Boulay with the State Climatology Office.

The tornado started in Edina and was on the ground for 26 minutes. It passed over Lake Harriet, killing one person, and continued on into Roseville. It hit the area near the Har Mar Mall hard.

"We were one of the few shops that didn't have the glass blown out," says Tom Eide at the Har Mar Barber Shop.

Eide has been working at the shop for 45 years and remembers the tornado well.

"The barber shop actually was used as the control center for the national guard," says Eide.

Even those who didn't experience the tornado first-hand will likely remember that day.

"This is during the era when T.V. stations started getting color Doppler radar and helicopters and so this became a big T.V. event," says Boulay.

For those who survived the real-life version, the memories are as clear as they were 29 years ago.

"We looked up over the hill and the tornado came up over the hill and I'm telling you everyone scattered," says a customer inside the barber shop.

The second death from the tornado came during clean-up when someone suffered a heart-attack and died.

The twister destroyed a business called 'Sound of Music' that day. The owner sold off the damaged inventory in a "Best Buy" sale. It was so popular that it became the permanent name for the Minnesota Company that today is the largest electronics retailer in the country.



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