ST. PAUL — Governor Tim Pawlenty activated the Minnesota National Guard to assist in three Minnesota counties following tornadoes and severe storms. A total of 74 soldiers will assist local authorities by providing security and operating traffic checkpoints in Wadena, Freeborn, and Steele Counties.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is also assisting in the response. The DNR sent officers to the Wadena area (9) and to Southeast Minnesota on Thursday. Five officers are on the ground on Friday.
Initial damage reports from Wadena include:
- More than 200 homes damaged or destroyed.
- High School has severe damage.
- Minnesota State Community college has significant damage.
- Wadena Community Center completely destroyed.
- Pool structure destroyed.
- City skating rink warming house destroyed.
- One city park shelter destroyed.
- Leaf River Ag business destroyed.
- One apartment complex partially destroyed.
- More than 60 vehicles totaled.
- Small portion of major damage area yet to be assessed. (About a five block residential area.)
Twitter - http://twitter.com/MnDPS_HSEM Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Paul-MN/MnDPS_HSEM-Homeland-Security-Emergency-Management/175754430840