One Year Ago: Faribault Area Hit By 15 Tornadoes
It was a year ago today, on September 20, 2018, the Faribault area was struck by approximately 15 tornadoes resulting in extensive damage. There was a miracle that evening because not one person even suffered a scratch from the storms. The area impacted was amazing.
In addition to Faribault, tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service to impact the communities of Morristown, Waterville, Northfield, Dundas, Owatonna, Medford, Janesville, Granada, Kenyon, Wanamingo, Zumbrota, and the Prairie Island and Lake Elysian areas.
Ironically on the same date, September 20th 8 tornadoes hit in an area between Alexandria and Willmar in 2017.
Camp Dels Campground in Waterville looked like it had been struck by a bomb. No injuries.
In Morristown, several homes were obliterated. No injuries.
In Faribault, there was damage experienced throughout the community. The Faribault Municipal Airport destruction was seen on all the major television networks as an example of the destruction seen that day.
The National Weather Service determined an EF-2 tornado hit Morristown and Faribault. Virtually all others were an EF-1.
An EF-0 briefly touched down west of Ceylon in Martin County.
A 16th tornado that night hit Ellsworth, Wisconsin.
An EF-1 went from northwest of Janesville to Waterville (about 10 miles).
An EF-1 touched down northwest of Faribault near Roberds Lake and stayed on the ground until it reached Interstate 35.
An EF-1 hit Northfield and stayed on the ground until it hit Cannon Falls (15 miles).
EF-1 went from the Cannon River Wilderness Area to between Dennison and Stanton.
It is believed another EF-1 hit the southwest side of Cannon Falls.
An EF-1 struck south of Dundas and lasted until it was southeast of Northfield.
It was determined another EF-1 traveled from Medford to an area between Nerstrand and Kenyon.
The impact can still be seen a year later. I took a short drive north of Faribault and snapped a few pictures of some of the results still seen a year later from, to borrow from President FDR in announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor, "A day that will live in infamy."
At least to those of us living in the Faribault area at the time the storms hit.
Faribault Mayor Kevin Voracek joined us on the KDHL Newsline during a morning newscast this morning and said he was very proud of the way community members rallied around each other and helped with the cleanup.
You could go down the Cannon River all the way from Faribault to Northfield and see damage along the river banks and trees topped into the river, so the few pictures I have are just a sample of the damage.