Newspaper Archive of
Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
July 14, 2016     Tri-County News
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July 14, 2016

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## Your Hometown News 1( i,iMl.,,.i,ii,ld%ll,.mlll,,Hdh,hMllqp,h *************MIXED ADC 553 12/3112015 SMALLTOWN PAPERS, INC. 217 W COTA ST SHELTON WA 98584-2263 $2 [ Volume 69, Issue 24 Thursday July 14, 2016 Inside this week: Meeker Countytomadore- covery fund, page 2. Disaster recovery resources fmmthe U of M, page 2. Libra proglams, page3. OBIIIIA : Walmm 96, of Watkins; page 4. Annandale Library pro- grams, page 4. Golf Club news, pageS. Express beat Clippers, Clippers beat Gnats, page 6. Grad open houses, page 7. Ven 41oquist comes to ! ! . Tomado aftemmth photos, pages 8-9. Eden Valley Area Library Book Notes, page 10. MNRep. JeffHowe receives award, page 12. CCC helped millions ofun- employed in Great Depression, page 13. Summary of July 12 emer- gency meeting inWatkins, p. 16. "In Brief" is on page 16. Church & Obituaries ....... 4 Baseball ................. 6 Local Schools & Students.. 7 Legals, Government... 10-13 Business Directories ...10-11 Crime Blotters ........... 11 Calendar ................ 14 Classifieds .............. 15 By Jean Doran Matua, Editor The beloved Mr. Rogers advised parents to encourage their chil- dren to "look for the helpers" in a time of trouble. This can help ease their worries and concerns. There were plenty of "helpers" out in Watkins that fateful night. And since. July 11, 2016. Residents in Litch- field and Watkins will remem- ber that date forever. All of central Minnesota was hit with thunder- storms, heavy rains, flash floods, and multiple tornadoes. The tornado that hit Watkins just before 6 p.m. wasn't visible on radar. It was a trained spotter who called it in. The apparent path was from Litchfield in the south, through Forest City, across Highway 55 at Kramer Electric and the cem- etery, then north through town along Meeker Avenue and out past Hilltop Health Care Center on the north end of town. The swath of devastation was much wider than one street, though. By the time many residents in Watkins saw it, they barely had time to seek shelter. The Linns on Meeker Ave- nue looked out their window and "saw the smoke coming over the church." They barely had time to get to the basement. Their brick home had broken windows, but windows can be replaced. Two members of the Watkins City Council, and neighbors, were hit. Mayor Frank Eder's home was damaged, but Tootz Tschumper- lin's home was destroyed, the roof and rafters peeled right off. Families of assisted living resi- dents at Hilltop Health Care Cen- ter were contacted to provide tem- porary living in their homes. Fam- ilies had to wait until the roads were open to Hilltop, past 9 p.m., to get through. We've heard that several residents were relocated to Meeker Memorial Hospital, but returned to Watkins at around 1 a.m. Tuesday. There were no ambulance calls in Watkins, and only one injury required hospitalization (so far as we know). Ertl Hardware's warehouse (right behind the main street store) was pretty much flattened. Everyone at Keek's Restau- rant watched as the tornado approached them from the south- before they retreated to the cooler for shelter. McCarthy Park is a mess. Many of the beautiful trees are uprooted or snapped off. The roofs of the stage and the beer house are half- way to CentraSota to the east. The hamburger house was spared, we're told (by someone who begrudged the loss of the beer house). "lust you watch," said former mayor Dennis Loch. "By Kraut 'N Wurst, those firemen'll have that park all fixed up and ready to go. You won't even recognize it." Tornado/To page 5 This photo was taken from Keek's Restaurant, across Highway 55 from Mies Outland, while Watkins still had electricity. Both properties came through okay. Keek's employees watched as the tornado came toward them from the south before seeking shelter in the cooler. Photo courtesy of Hedy Robben. A view of St. Anthony Cemetery, on the north side of Highway 55. Much of the roof from Kramer Electric was strewn into the cemetery by the tornado Monday evening. Staffphoto by Jean Doran Matua. The roof and the north wall were ripped off of Delores Faber's home, across the street from Hilltop Health Care Center on the north end of town. The adjoining home lost half its roof. Delores was injured when part of her home fell on her; she is in the hospital with a fractured vertebra. Family members packed up her belongings, gathering them even from the rafters.. See more photos, taken Monday night, on pages 8-9. Staffphoto by Jean Doran Matua.