...Otter Tail County Tornadoes rated EF1 and EF2...
A NOAA’s NWS damage assessment team traveled to northwest Otter Tail County late Thursday afternoon and early evening, to review damage left in the wake of tornadic storms earlier in the day.
Damage in the Elizabeth area was rated EF1, indicating winds of 90-95 mph. Skywarn trained spotters reported that a tornado touched down just south of county road 10, less than a mile to the west of Elizabeth around 141 pm CDT, and tracked north-north east for about 6 miles. Spotters report that the tornado appeared to have crossed highway 59 between 2 and 3 miles north of Elizabeth, then continued north-north east to around 2 miles southeast of Erhard by 152 pm CDT. Several trees were reported to have been torn down and a few power poles were snapped. Spotters noted that the tornado was up and down quite a bit along this path. Photos indicate that this tornado was between 75 and 100 yards wide at times.
Damage in the Lake Lida and Crystal Lake area was rated EF2...indicating winds of 130-135 mph. Observers near Lake Lida reported that a tornado touched down near the southwest end of Lake Lida around 210 PM CDT, about 4 miles east-south east of Pelican Rapids, and tracked north-north east for nearly 7 miles. The tornado crossed Lake Lida hitting the Lake Lida Loop lakeside community around 220 pm CDT. The tornado then continued across Crystal Lake, and appears to have lifted around 5 miles west of Vergas by 225 pm CDT. A dozen or more homes were structurally damaged on the north shore of Lake Lida and off the north end of Crystal Lake. Numerous power poles and trees were snapped off, but no injuries have been reported. Reports and damage measurements indicate that this tornado was about 150 yards wide at times.
A Tornado Watch was in effect for the impacted areas from 1118 am CDT through 531 pm CDT. A Tornado Warning was in effect for western Otter Tail County from 138 pm CDT through 233 pm CDT. Updates to the warning were also issued at 146 pm CDT, 204 pm CDT, and 216 pm CDT as the storm progressed through northwest Otter Tail county.
Tornado Warnings had been issued earlier in the afternoon for east central Richland County North Dakota and southern Wilkin County Minnesota, but no damage has yet been reported in those two counties.
Other storm reports are available on NOAA’s NWS Grand Forks web page.
For more information contact Gregory Gust at 701.772.0720 x726
1) Track of tornado based on surface observations.
2) Photo of tornado 1 mile west of Elizabeth MN (shortly after touchdown) around 142 pm CDT. Photo courtesy of Chad Wheeler.
3) Example of home damage in Lake Lida loop area, north end of Lake Lida. NOAA NWS storm survey photo.