Archived Story

Kiester tornado given an EF0 rating

Published 2:06pm Monday, May 7, 2012

The National Weather Service has confirmed a weak tornado touched down west of Kiester Friday evening as storms passed through the area.

The Chanhassen bureau has assigned the tornado a Enhanced Fujita Scale rating of EF0, with winds of 75 mph.

“It traveled east-northeast,” a report released Monday afternoon states, “and dissipated two miles northeast of Kiester in eastern Faribault County. The tornado was on the ground four miles and had a maximum width of 50 yards.”

Meteorologist Chris Franks said the twister was on the ground between 5:50 and 6 p.m. and traveled 20 to 25 mph.

He described it as being “rain-wrapped” — or surrounded by clouds of rain — and said it was harder to see because of this.

“If it weren’t for chasers right there who were very close, sometimes these types of tornadoes are difficult to see,” Franks added.

The twister damaged the barn and several sheds on the farm of Glenn and Cindy Scherb at 4430 State Highway 22. The house survived, but it had windows out, siding and gutter damage and a lack of power.

A second farm belonging to Clarence and Esther Vanhove four miles southwest of Kiester was hit by a tornado, too. The house survived but several farm structures did not. The National Weather Service was working Monday to confirm this as a second tornado in the Kiester area, rather than the same one.

Glenn Scherb, when interviewed Saturday morning, commented on seeing a “wall of water” and then noticing things begin to fly.

The tornado struck in the midst of a tornado warning for Freeborn and Faribault counties. The warning for Faribault County ended at 6:30 p.m., and the one for Freeborn County ended at 6:30 p.m.

About an hour earlier, a tornado comparable in size was confirmed to have touched down in Jackson.

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