Weather Forecast


Red Cross wraps up damage assessment, to open shelter in Wadena

Trained Red Cross damage assessment volunteers have completed their survey of damage caused to homes, mobile homes, and apartments in Minnesota due to the storms that hit the state on Thursday night, June 16. The final report shows that a total of 795 dwellings were affected by this disaster. Of those, 101 were destroyed rendering them permanently uninhabitable. Another 152 suffered major damage, meaning that extensive repairs are needed to make the home habitable; and 224 received minor damage, requiring minor repairs or cleaning to be made habitable.

Wadena and Freeborn Counties are responsible for a large portion of the damage statistics; however damage was widespread throughout the state. Here is how it looks in each of the affected counties.

In Faribault County, 3 homes were destroyed while 2 suffered major damage and 14 had minor damage. In Freeborn County, 42 homes were destroyed, 30 showed major damage and 81 showed minor damage. In Olmsted County, 8 homes were destroyed, 19 had major damage and 36 had minor damage. In Otter tail County, 18 homes were destroyed, 11 had major damage and 3 had minor damage. In Steele County, 4 homes have been destroyed, 12 had major damage and 10 displayed minor damage. In Wadena County, 27 homes were destroyed, 76 had major damage and 76 had minor damage. In Winona County, 1 home was destroyed, 2 sustained major damage, and 5 had minor damage.

"Gathering this disaster damage information is critical to the success of our operation," said Melanie Tschida, Executive Director of the Southeast Minnesota American Red Cross. "With this information, we can determine priorities for providing assistance, verify the damage suffered by families requesting Red Cross disaster assistance and determine where needs are most urgent. Additionally, decisions such as staffing supply needs, estimating relief costs and providing a basis for fund-raising decisions are all based on a complete and accurate damage assessment."

Though the survey has been completed, the number of affected dwellings may still vary somewhat during the following weeks. "Historically, when dealing with disaster areas as wide spread as this, we will find variations of a few homes as relief efforts move forward," said Tschida. "Examples include when structures recorded as single family homes turn out to be duplexes, or when damage is inside the home and not readily visible from the outside of the dwelling."

As a result of the tornadoes, the Red Cross opened four temporary shelters and is currently feeding in several communities. Volunteers are also providing Health and Mental Health Services and preparing to provide other types of individual assistance in the days ahead.


Sunday, June 20, 4 p.m.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

403 2nd St. S.E. (Corner of Dayton Ave. S.E. & 2nd St. S.E.)

American Red Cross mobile feeding units will continue to canvas neighborhoods providing food and refreshments for those affected.

Help people affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission