Tornado damages homes in Grove City and Atwater prompting a community cleanup

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Two of the places hardest hit during Friday’s severe weather were Grove City and Atwater, Minnesota.

Fox 9 confirmed Saturday that a tornado touched down in the area Friday evening.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado moved about 11 miles from Atwater to Litchfield.

The storm brought with it some heavy winds and left behind a mess for people in the area.

“It started picking up and all the sudden it was like bang. And didn’t really hear anything after that.. Just a huuah,” said Todd Clark, whose home was damaged in the storm.

Clark headed to his basement to wait out the storm that quickly tore through his property.

He said he, “kind of hid for a few minutes,” and that’s all the time it took.

“Looked out the patio door and was like, well, my trailer’s moved. Then, it’s like, well, there was a camper here, and then I came out and looked out the back door, and was like, well the trailers gone,” Clark recalled.

Just one day later, he’s left picking up the pieces from the EF0 tornado.

And Clark is not alone.

About five miles west in Atwater, Hallee Thompson is spending her Saturday raking. She is helping her neighbors pick up massive branches blown off in the storm. 

“It was scary because a lot of damage could have happened because a lot of people could have lost their homes,” Thompson said.

Limbs came close to several homes in the area. With helping hands, however, the yards should be clear in no time.

“It’s crazy,” said Kiara Rosenquist. “It’s awesome to see everyone come together and cleaning up together, and working as a team. Really brings us as a town together.”

The town and community will continue picking up after Saturday’s tornado.

“I don’t know where to start,” said Todd Clark. "It’s gonna take a while."

The highest wind gust measured with this storm was 80 miles per hour. The tornado caused mostly tree damage, but some structural damage as well. The damage was just enough to categorize it as an EF0 tornado.