Cleanup begins after homes destroyed by tornado in Morristown, Minn.

- Morristown is one of the communities where a tornado touched down this week and now, the small city located about 60 miles south of Minneapolis has a lot of debris left to clean up after the storm damaged many homes.

Kathy Vatland was was sitting at her kitchen island paying bills in what was a mundane Thursday night in Morristown. Then, it suddenly transformed.

“The clouds weren’t moving, there was no sound. All of a sudden the wind picked up and voom, it was done,” Vatland said of the storm that decimated her home.

She had just gotten to the basement heeding the tornado siren when the neighbor’s deck went into the dining room right above her.

Now, her living room walls are gone and she doesn’t know yet if the house will be repaired or rebuilt.

After 29 years here, she figures she might not be back after the damage her home sustained.

“It came right over that hill, you can see where she hit,” Vatland said.

Two doors down, Randy Werner saw the tornado come in and a friend of his a block or so north took a picture of it as it floated over the tree-line. It did not appear to touch the trees, but then dropped in the bean field behind them and then everything started flying.

“It was 15, 20 seconds later, it was done,” said Randy Werner. “And then I went out the front doors, seen the neighbor lady down the street, her whole house was gone.”

That neighbor he refers to, Maurine Caspari, got the worst of it as the main floor of her home is now pretty much an open air platform.

The tornado hit a couple blocks in this corner of Morristown, totaling about a dozen homes. Then, down the hill, through another farm field and into more homes a few blocks away the storm continued.

“Yep, we were in the basement but we were on the back side,” said Stephanie Duhme. “And I think it just happened to come right through here.”

“It was interesting because it was just like my ears filled up and they were going to pop,” she said. “And it was kind of like this gust of air taken from you.”

The cleanup is coming along quickly and even though many Morristown residents can’t live at home right now, they are just thankful to be alive.  

“I’m doing well,” Duhme said. “It’s kind of amazing. I’m doing OK.”

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