Austin tornado damage estimated at $4 million - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Kerry Klatt

Austin tornado damage estimated at $4 million

ALBERT LEA, MN (KTTC-TV) It's been more than a week since a tornado swept through northwest Austin damaging homes, businesses and city parks.

"People doing a lot of hard work to make it happen," says baseball coach Joe Ciola.

Crews continue to clean-up Todd Park, which caught the eye of the storm.

Friday, a little league baseball tournament got underway as scheduled despite last weeks devestation to the park's trees, fences and property.

"This is another thing we're overcoming as a town and a community.  And it's really nice we've got a lot of baseball for the kids this weekend," says Ciola.

Overall, officials say city property and infrastructure got an estimated $375,000 in damage.

As far as damage to area-businesess that price tag is in the millions.

"Our estimates are preliminary, but should well in access of $4 million."

A large majority of that estimate stems from structural damages to at least 13 businesses.

"Hardest area is the business district on the north side of Austin, they received a very serious hit and a very serious set-back."

One of the hardest hit businesses is Rogers & Sons, which specializes in excavating and asphalt paving.

"We lost our main shop that we did repair and maintence on all our vehicles and heavy equipment with, and we also lost a secondary small equipment shop, and a large portion of our office," says Andrew Vilmain of Rogers & Sons.

Workers say business before the storm was slow, and now this has made it very hard.

"We were a little bit behind, and as soon as the storm hit it has thrown us for at least two weeks and I imagine maybe 10 more weeks," says Vilmain.

Officials say 26 homes suffered major damage, 19 homes had minor damage, and two are inhabitable.

City officials are expecting insurance to cover most of its damages, and businesses and homeowners are also working with their insurance providers.

At this time, it does not appear the county will receieve federal dollars to aid in the clean-up.

 

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