Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wadena, Minnesota Tornado

Thursday morning, there were zero news articles when you searched for "Wadena MN" on Google.  By late Friday, there were 1,069.

A record string of tornadoes put this town on the map by tearing one quarter of this town off the map.

My wife is from Wadena, born there in 1972 and living there until 16 years old.  It's her hometown.

Her brother, niece, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews live there still.  Amazingly and thankfully, no one died in Wadena.  None of the hurt included family members.

Many of the institutions, though, are lost forever.

Her old high school looks like its done for.

The town's ice rink and community center, for which the town worked to raise money to build during my wife's childhood, is a lost cause.

The fairgrounds for Wadena County, where my wife's 4H awards were housed, was wiped out.

Godspeed on cleanup, Wadena.  Godspeed.

UPDATE:  An early July 2011 visit to Minnesota to visit family, took us through the streets of Wadena one year and two weeks after the Wadena Tornado. 

The old high school has been torn down and a new one is under construction.  The community center is gone.  The community pool is closed down.  The fairgrounds are functioning, but smaller.

The neighborhoods have changed too.  Some people rebuilt.  Some did not.  Some are still rebuilding.

There are new shingles on, seemingly, every home on the west side of town. 

July 1, 2011: Site of the former Wadena High School.

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