Austin tornado reached EF2 strength - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Austin tornado reached EF2 strength

Lyle Lyle
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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC-DT) - Power has been restored in Austin after a tornado roared through the area Wednesday night.

The northeast side of Austin was hit the hardest.

Thursday the National Weather Service said the tornado, which had three confirmed sightings, reached EF2 strength.  

The Todd Park area was badly damaged. Buildings have been destroyed, trees uprooted and cars flipped over.

At a news conference Thursday morning, Austin police say it is too soon to know how many homes and buildings were damaged.

A deputy told the NewsCenter he saw a funnel form over Highway 218 and then touched down next to the K-Mart store.

Dawn Butler, manager of Windrift Lounge and restaurant, says one man was inside a shed when it overturned twice. Butler says the man was scraped and bruised, and went to the hospital as a precaution.

There haven't been any serious injuries or deaths.

Right now, the biggest problem for police and deputies are gawkers.  People are being asked to stay home.  Police are not issuing tickets, but they will start if people don't stay away.

The Austin Police Chief said the sirens in the city did not sound immediately after the tornado warning was issued. He says even if the National Weather Service issues a warning, it must be confirmed by spotters for sirens to sound within the city limits.

Wednesday night, deputies did go door-to-door in the hardest hit neighborhoods and say they feel confident everyone is accounted for.

KAAL-TV in Austin was knocked off the air for about an hour Wednesday night. 


  • If you are in need of clean-up due to disaster damage, home assistance due to disaster damage or home and welfare checks, please call the Mower County Chapter of the Red Cross at 507-437-4589.
  • If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, call the United Way of Mower County at 507-437-2313.
  • If you are a contractor, you must go to City Hall to register.  Homeowners should use contractors registered at City Hall.
  • A temporary yard waste debris site is set up at the Elk River Concrete property, south of the entrance to Todd Park on 14th Street N.W.  The yard waste site will be staffed and open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. through Sunday, June 21st.
  • The Salvation Army is providing meals for emergency personnel, homeowners, people assisting homeowners and volunteers through their mobile canteen Thursday night.
  • Also note the Salvation Army provides community meals Monday - Friday from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. at their downtown location.  Homeowners without power should feel free to come in for supper.
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