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Wadena devastated by 'tornado'

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

It was supposed to be a celebratory day in Wadena. Instead, a

tornado tore large sections of the city down.

The storm disrupted the city's parade today, and came through town as

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hundreds of visitors arrive for an all-school reunion.

At 5:10 p.m., a storm caused "extreme damage" in the city, according

to Mayor Wayne Wolden. Several buildings are damaged or destroyed,

including Wadena-Deer Creek High School and the Wadena Area Community

Center.

Wolden said there are 12-13 injuries reported so far, but no

fatalities that he knows of.

10 fire departments and about 100 law enforcement officers have

arrived to help, but Wolden said volunteers should stay away at this

point.

Wadena County Sheriff Mike Carr said the damage is so severe and so

many trees and power lines are down, it's not safe to come into the

city.

The Red Cross is setting up at the Wadena Armory to help people

displaced by the storm.

Wolden said there are many gas and water main leaks that crews are

trying to repair, and Verizon cell phone service is down in the city.

Wolden said although there's not been official confirmation, he's

certain it was a tornado that caused the damage.

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