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Memorial Day storms spawn at least 8 tornadoes in Minnesota

Survey teams with the National Weather Service are still investigating tornado damage in communities across the western part of the state.

FORADA, Minn. — Two days after a massive, destructive line of storm cells tore through western Minnesota, the National Weather Service (NWS) is still working to determine how many tornadoes touched down across the state.

As of Wednesday afternoon, at least eight tornadoes have been confirmed.

The small lakeside community of Forada, just south of Alexandria, was hit especially hard. Multiple buildings and homes along Maple Lake were severely damaged or leveled, boats were tossed onto the shore and trees and power lines were pulled down. On Tuesday, the NWS confirmed an EF-2 hit Forada, with max winds of 120 mph.

Survey teams in Forada found evidence of multiple vortexes and a path as at least half a mile wide, according to the NWS.

After the storm, Forada Fire Chief Stephen VanLuik escorted a KARE 11 crew to see the storm's aftermath. About 100 homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed. "I know it's devastating to look at, but we're glad that no deaths that we know of [were reported], or any major injuries," VanLuik said.

In Plato and Eagle Bend, EF-1 tornadoes were confirmed by the NWS. Max winds in Plato reached 90 mph, while in Eagle Bend, max winds reached 95 mph.

On Tuesday, the NWS confirmed an EF-0 with max speeds of 75 mph in Nobles County

At least four more tornadoes were also confirmed by the NWS on Wednesday:

  • EF-2 with 115 mph wind speeds in Elbow Lake, Grant County
  • EF-1 with estimated speeds of 105 mph in Poplar Township in Cass County
  • EF-1 with 107 mph winds in Deer River in Itasca County

The National Weather Service is still investigating damage from a tornado in Appleton/Milan. However, Because damage from this storm impacted four counties – Chippewa, Swift, Stevens and Pope – it's possible that there were impacts from more than one tornado.

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