National Weather Service Confirms 2 Tornadoes Hit SE Minnesota
Taopi, MN (KROC-AM News) - The National Weather Service has now confirmed that the severe thunderstorms that hit the region last night produced at least two tornadoes in southeastern Minnesota.
The most damaging was the EF2 tornado that smashed through a section of Taopi shortly after 10:30 PM. The National Weather Service estimated the twister produced winds in excess of 130 mph, which puts it on the high-end of the scale for the EF2 rating.
The tornado struck on the western side of the small Mower County community and destroyed or heavily damaged a number of homes, farms, and other structures. It was also blamed for injuring two people who had to be rescued after they became trapped in the rubble at a residence near Taopi. Mower County officials described their injuries as non-life-threatening.
Taopi is located near the Iowa border about 30 miles south of Rochester along Highway 56 between Adams and LeRoy. The Minnesota Department of Transportation had barricades blocking traffic on the highway near Taopi until around 2 PM because of downed powerlines and storm debris. Mower County officials continue to urge everyone to stay away from the area.
The other confirmed tornado was in Fillmore County. The National Weather Service says the storm was rated as an EF1 twister with estimated peak winds of around 100 mph. It did not cause any injuries, but damaged farm buildings and trees in an area southwest of Spring Valley.