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Fair Oaks residents give thoughts, prayers to area's June 17 tornado victims

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Wadena, 56482
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Thoughts and prayers at Fair Oaks Lodge this week have been for relatives and friends whose homes were transformed from a homey comfortable place to a pile of boards. Some of our folks have had like experiences and survived.

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Most storm damage talked about was of a lesser vitality. Vernon lost his home, saying it was actually worse than even he could have imagined. Black's Grove was across the road and lost many trees. Their friends, who lived across the road, had their house completely blown away.

Marion lived near Black's Grove. Lost trees were expected, she said. Ernest claimed it blew his house over to his neighbor's, which he considered to be extremely unfair. Now his neighbor has two houses and he doesn't have even one.

Glen says the worst thing that hit Deer Creek was having the school burn down, not a storm. Norbert's place got the barn twisted out of shape, never able to look the world straight in the eye again, it couldn't be straightened.

A session on tornadoes told us that they can rotate up to 300 miles per hour and can move at 70 mph. They can happen any time of year and occur in every country.

Now, were you aware that several well known personages visited Wadena just before and during that tornado? They were an elite team of National Severe Storm Chaser photojournalists by the name of Tom Laubeck and Ed Grubel, here with the Twistex Research Team. Advance accurate knowledge of the storm's likely make-up and potential made this possible.

They got extremely valuable information concerning unusual deadly multi-vortex spouts seldom caught on tape.

Brandon Ivey, a member of the Weather Paparazzi Team, had sights trained on the school when it took a direct hit, almost another "first." Well-known weather photographer Eric Whitehill took epic shots as he followed the tornado through town.

The first storm chaser team was envisioned and put together by Warren Faidley, writer and speaker. It is a serious group of trained personnel with jobs to do.

These people regret that chasing storms has somehow turned into a popular reckless hobby for people looking for excitement who put others and themselves in extreme danger. They do stupid things on the highways and get in the way of serious programs out there looking for a better way to save lives in the event of a severe storm.

A bona fide professional storm chaser has passed strict requirements, both physical and mental, that take several years to acquire. Learning about weather is a science.

The car cinematographer storm chaser Sean Casey drives was made out of a long-wheelbased 1997 Ford pickup into what he calls a "tornado intercept vehicle." It has a Ford F450 diesel dual pickup engine for driving into tornados. There is even a turret for his IMAX camera.

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