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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tornadoes in Central U.S.

Tornadoes in Central U.S.

Tornadoes ripped through parts of the Midwest on Sunday killing at least one person in Minneapolis and an unknown number of others in a Missouri town where a hospital was damaged.Phone communications in and out of the city were largely cut off.Tornado warnings and watches were posted from Texas to Michigan.
In Minneapolis, the 29 people who were hurt were treated at North Memorial Hospital.One death was confirmed by the Hennepin County medical examiner. She had no other immediate details.The metro area's other two trauma centers, Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and Regions Hospital in St. Paul, reported no injuries.
National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Krause said the line of damage stretched from just west of Minneapolis through the city and into the northeastern suburbs.
Though the damage covered several blocks, it appeared few houses were totally demolished. Much of the damage was to roofs, front porches that had been sheared away, or smaller items such as fences and basketball goals.
The tornado left part of a garage door in a tree. Many large trees were uprooted and toppled or left leaning against houses.
Residents walked around their neighborhoods taking in all the damage. Some chatted on cellphones about what they saw, while others snapped pictures.
Others went to work.
The tornado left a tree leaning against Pat Trafton's house, but she said her family escaped harm.
"It's been a crazy day," Trafton, 67."It was a monster tornado. ... It all just happened so fast."
Krause said it was clearly a tornado -- the first to hit the city since August 2009. "There was no doubt right away," the meteorologist said.
Some north Minneapolis residents told the Star Tribune they saw the tornado go through their yards.
"It went right between our houses," said Tiffany Pabich, who was taking a nap just as the tornado passed. "A tree landed on top of my car. We smelled gas right away."
The storms uprooted as many as 50 natural gas service lines in Minneapolis and suburban St. Louis Park, and CenterPoint Energy warned residents to be careful of gas leaks.The Minneapolis Police Department asked people who didn't live in the area to stay away. A shelter for those displaced by the storm was set up Sunday afternoon at a nearby armory.
In Wisconsin, a powerful storm caused significant damage in La Crosse, tearing roofs from homes and sending emergency responders to search damaged buildings for anyone trapped inside, officials said. La Crosse County sheriff's dispatcher Tim Vogel described the damage as "significant" but told The Associated Press there were no immediate reports of serious injuries.


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