3 more tornadoes confirmed in Freeborn County; county declares local disaster

Published 8:12 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday declared a local disaster from the severe storms Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service on Monday confirmed three new tornadoes in the county, bringing the total to six.

Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen said the local disaster declaration allows the county to ask the state of Minnesota for public infrastructure funds for storm cleanup. He said the threshold is $663,000 in damages, and presently there is well over $400,000 in estimated damage.

The new tornadoes confirmed were an EF-0 near Hayward, and two EF-1 tornadoes, one near both Myrtle and London.

The Hayward tornado tracked four miles to the northeast with several roofs partially blown off, and the Myrtle tornado tracked four miles to the northeast with several outbuildings destroyed.

The London tornado was on the ground for 4.5 miles and moved to the north with a large machine shed destroyed. 

Two previous EF-1 tornadoes were reported in rural Alden and one EF-2 in Hartland. The fast-moving Hartland tornado reached wind speeds as high as 115 mph and was 55 yards wide. It damaged numerous buildings, trees and utility poles, with significant damage coming in the center of town to both residential and business structures. The tornado dissipated to the northeast in a field, a total of 2.17 miles from where it started.

Fifteen tornadoes have now been reported in Minnesota. Prior to the storm event, a tornado had never been reported in the state. 

Look for more information as it becomes available.