Signs of rebuilding
After a month of severe storms, the first week of August presented a sunny but sweltering opportunity to work on rebuilding the most affected areas of town.
Residents of southwest Wadena were moving on with repairs and moving on with their lives. Homeowner Jay Krogstad was getting ready to leave for WE Fest in Detroit Lakes while crew members of S.B. Restoration from Sartell fixed damaged areas of the house.
Donlar Construction from St. Cloud worked on the roof of St. John Lutheran Church, one of the tallest structures to have sustained tornado damage.
"It's really hot up there," said crew member Eric Nierengarten.
Nearby, the crew of M & W Construction and Cabinets from Wadena kept big jugs of water near their other rooftop equipment. Ron Malone said they were working on 18 different houses.
Other buildings did not survive the tornado and had to be taken down. In some empty lots, driveways to nowhere were the only indication that houses had existed.
Jonell Asfeld took in the demolition of her house, following the large machinery with her camera phone. She had taken shelter in the basement of her workplace when the tornado went through Wadena. It struck the family home, which was "one of the first shots on YouTube," she said.
Asfeld said they were going to buy a new house.