Sen. Klobuchar to return to Wadena to view rebuilding
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will be in Wadena on Friday to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Wadena-Deer Creek High School to replace the one that was destroyed by a tornado that ripped through the community last summer.
The new Wadena-Deer Creek High School is being built on the same site as the former high school.
The new school is expected to be ready for classes by fall 2012. In the meantime, students have been attending classes at an elementary school and at M State Community and Technical College.
With Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, Klobuchar will also visit Leaf River Ag Service, an agriculture co-op which lost its building to the tornado. Klobuchar had met with Scott Dau, the general manager of the co-op, a few days after the tornado hit.
Last year on June 17, a series of 48 tornadoes stormed across Minnesota, setting a one-day record for tornadoes in Minnesota. Three people were killed, including two near Almora and Mentor in northwestern Minnesota and one near Albert Lea in southern Minnesota.
Wadena was the hardest hit community, with more than 200 homes and buildings destroyed.
According to the National Weather Service, the Wadena tornado was rated as an EF4, with peak winds estimated to 170 mph. This tornado made its initial touchdown about 3 miles south-southwest of Wadena around 5:00 p.m., and produced a continuous damage path through Wadena before lifting about 7 miles north-northeast of the town by 518 p.m.
Damage extended as much as 1.1 miles wide at times along the 10-mile long path. The most extreme damage was located from the southwest Wadena residential area into the industrial area located between the high school and the Highway 10 corridor.
In the aftermath of the tornadoes, the president issued a federal disaster declaration for 13 counties in northwestern, western and southern Minnesota.
The declaration authorized federal assistance for state, tribal and local governments, and certain types of private nonprofits. The assistance could be used to pay for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain private non-profits.