SPICER, Minn. — Multiple funnel clouds and small tornadoes were sighted across west-central Minnesota Friday evening, Aug. 14, as a fast-moving thunderstorm system rolled east across Minnesota.
Emergency responders reported no injuries and mostly minor damage to buildings in the hours following the storm.
“We lost a lot of trees, which is always sad, but better than homes and lives,” Kim Lindahl, Kandiyohi County emergency management director, said Friday evening. “We were lucky.”
Kandiyohi County began receiving reports of rotation and funnel clouds at approximately 5:13 p.m. Friday south and west of Willmar, according to the Kandiyohi County Emergency Management. The storm was moving mainly north and east. There were multiple reports of sightings of funnel clouds and rotation forming. The county's spotters were activated.
Kandiyohi County first broadcast a text alert at 5:24 p.m. of multiple funnel clouds reported west and south of Willmar.
One tornado formed by the Duininck gravel pit near Eagle Lake and went up and down, at one point sweeping across the BMX track, Lindahl said.
Building damage included some minor roof damage on some homes and garages, she said. A small section of a business roof was lost near the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative building between Willmar and Spicer.
This tornado continued to the northeast causing some damage along the way. It later formed near the south side of Green Lake near the Green Lake Bible Camp in the 3300 block of South Lake Avenue, went onto the lake and crossed over Indian Beach Road, said Kim Lindahl. The same one also hit Lake Jesse.
There were multiple reports of funnels going up and down, Lindahl said — first from Pennock, then from the east end of Willmar along Highway 12 and by Diamond Lake.
Two tornadoes were spotted northeast of Spicer Friday evening. Video of the tornadoes was taken by Amanda Forstrom and posted on Twitter.
Trained spotters and others reported seeing cloud rotation in Meeker County, said Meeker County Sheriff’s Sergeant Sara Miller.
The heaviest damage was along Meeker County Road 3, where downed trees blocked the road.
Videos of tornadoes were posted on Twitter that were spotted near Browntown and southeast of Norwood, and there were large trees downed in Glencoe as well.