DAN AND MARILYN SCHMIDT had just arrived for the July Fourth holiday weekend at a west central Minnesota lake when they got the phone call from their daughter, Heather Rokeh. She was calling from Marshall with news that a storm had swept through town. It was late Friday afternoon, July 1.
Dan asked about their farm 20 miles northeast of Marshall. Heather suggested that “it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have someone check it out.”
And so Heather’s sister, Amy St. Pierre, and Amy’s husband and daughter went to the farm, surveyed the damage, then called the Schmidts. The couple returned that night to inspect their Wood Lake area farm.
Every building had been damaged. Hail pounded holes in the siding on the house, where shingles and an antenna were blown off. The door of the Quonset building had been ripped away with part of the board trim speared into the ground.
Trees were down or uprooted. Branches littered the farmyard. On one of the two houses on the farm site, the garage was pulled away from the house, leaving a visible gap.
“A lot of these things spelled out tornado for us,” says Heather. “The twisting of the trees, things stuck in the ground and the twisted buildings all suggest tornado to us.”
Whether straight-line winds or tornado, Heather remains grateful: “We are so thankful no one was injured.”
IF YOUR FARM, HOME or community was damaged during the July 1 storm in southwestern Minnesota, I’d like to hear from you. Submit a comment summarizing your storm experience, the damage to your property or town, and progress toward recovery. If you have photos to share, like those above from my cousin Heather, let me know and I’ll be in touch.
PHOTOS BY HEATHER ROKEH Copyright 2011
Text copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling