Alden tornado victims remember June 17, 2010 - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Alden tornado victims remember June 17, 2010


NEAR ALDEN, Minn. (KTTC) -- Friday marks one year since the Alden tornado touched down, stretching more than a half-mile wide, one of 48 twisters recorded in Minnesota that day. The outbreak destroyed nearly 60 farms, leaving destruction for miles.

One year later, driving down I-90 west towards Alden it's clear where the twisters struck.

Farm yards are barren and the few trees that still stand are merely leafless formations.

For many families their lives resemble their farm yards, still a work in progress a year later.

"It's been a year of change, it's been good and bad," said Mary Behrends.

Mary and David Behrends have been through a lot in their lives, but re-building a home after 41 years was never something they had envisioned doing.

"There was never any thought in my mind about moving anywhere else," said Mary.

They were in Wichita for their son's birthday when they got word of the twister.

"When we first came home we saw that the roof was gone. All the windows were gone."

One year has passed, but when the couple looks back, they say it feels like it was yesterday.

"I think our faith pulled us through. Even though what we knew was gone, God was still there with us," said Mary.

At neighboring farms, like Bob Hanson's, the tornado ripped the home off its foundation. 

A little further down the road and the story was much the same at Clair and Rita Dreschers.

"Our house lifted up and set back down, which was really scary," recalled Rita.

"I remember it being really hot that day. A lot of wind. Right before the tornado came there was a lot of wind moving different directions, kind of an eerie color in the sky," said Zak, the Drescher's son.

The family is still re-building. Their new home is still a work in progress.

"I guess I don't dwell on it that much. I guess you got to keep moving forward and do the best you can," said Clair Drescher.

But for their son Zak, it isn't as easy for him to let go of the memories.

"Probably like to live here and not feel like a tornado went through," said Zak.

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