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Science Museum Wadena Days set for Nov. 16-18

The Science Museum of Minnesota invites residents of Otter Tail and Wadena counties, areas hard-hit by the biggest tornado outbreak in Minnesota's history in June 2010, to see the new "Tornado Alley" Omnitheater film for free during Wadena Days on Nov. 16-18, according to a press release sent to the Pioneer Journal.

"Tornado Alley" gives viewers an unforgettable look at the power and fury of one of nature's most dramatic weather phenomena. Much of the film's footage of tornado aftermath was shot in and around Wadena. Tornadoes swept through Minnesota on June 17, 2010, killing three people around the state and causing millions of dollars in damage.

The Science Museum was a producing partner of the "Tornado Alley" film, which follows VORTEX 2, a team of scientists studying severe storms with the goal of improving early warning systems and ultimately saving lives. In June of 2010, the scientists of VORTEX 2 had just wrapped up their work for the season, and the film crew continued chasing severe weather that was developing in northern and western Minnesota. The crew was on location in the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) near Wadena when a tornado touched down in the afternoon on June 17, 2010. One of the most dramatic shots in "Tornado Alley" was captured from the TIV as it was speeding to get out of the way of the EF4 tornado. That tornado's wind speeds reached 175 mph.

After the storm, Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden graciously allowed the film crew to stay in the storm-ravaged area to capture footage of the tremendous damage. The footage appears in "Tornado Alley" as a powerful reminder of the devastating potential of tornadoes.

"Many people in communities in Otter Tail and Wadena counties were deeply impacted by this historic severe weather," said Mike Day, senior vice president of the Science Museum of Minnesota. "Inviting them to see the film that shows firsthand how their lives were touched, including great personal loss, is our small way of thanking them for their cooperation during a difficult time."

During Wadena Days at the Science Museum, Otter Tail and Wadena County residents are invited to visit the museum's exhibit galleries and Omnitheater for free, as well as get an up-close look at the Tornado Intercept Vehicle, which is stationed in the Science Museum's lobby.

Wadena Days visitor information

From Friday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 18, anyone holding a Minnesota driver's license with the following zip codes will receive free admission to the Science Museum's exhibit galleries and Omnitheater for themselves family, friends and guests:

56482 (Wadena)

56518 (Bluffton)

56361 (Parkers Prairie)

56551 (Almora)

56527 (Deer Creek)

56567 (New York Mills)

56551 (Henning)

This special offer can be redeemed at the Science Museum's Box Office on level 5. Advance reservations are recommended, but not required. For more information or tips to plan a trip to the Science Museum, visitors may call 651-221-9444 or visit