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Klobuchar tours Wadena damage; will seek expedited federal aid

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar visited Wadena Saturday. She spoke with Wadena County Commissioner Lane Waldahl while County Attorney Kyra Ladd looked on.

In the aftermath of Thursday's series of tornadoes across Minnesota, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar came to Wadena this morning, where Mayor Wayne Wolden joined her on a tour to survey the tornado damage in his community.

Klobuchar flew to Wadena Saturday morning from Washington, D.C., to meet with area officials and assess the damage firsthand. Next week she plans to visit other areas in Minnesota that were hit by tornadoes.

"In a matter of just a few seconds, people's lives were twisted and turned upside down," said Klobuchar. "The tornado destroyed a lot of things in Wadena, but one thing it didn't do was take away the strong spirit of this community."

Klobuchar explained that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct a preliminary damage assessment to determine what kind of federal disaster assistance would be available. She said that officials hope to have this preliminary assessment done by the end of next week.

Klobuchar said she will push for expedited federal assistance as soon as eligibility is determined.

There were 39 separate tornadoes that hit areas across Minnesota on Thursday afternoon and evening, causing three deaths, dozens of injuries and extensive damage to public and private property.

"I join all Minnesotans in extending my sympathies and prayers to everyone who was affected by the deadly storms," said Klobuchar. "Despite the tragic loss of life and property, this is also a time when Minnesotans show their best by coming to the aid of one another to rescue, recover and rebuild."