Tornadoes Hit Northern Ind., Minn., Causing Damage and One Death

August 25, 2006

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept off Lake Michigan Wednesday evening, downing trees and power lines and causing some injuries in Indiana and killing one resident in Minnesota.

In LaPorte County, Ind., 911 Assistant Director Beth West said some injuries were reported in the county, but she did not have any details.

Heavy damage was also reported at a boat show scheduled to begin Thursday at the Washington Park Marina on Lake Michigan, police said. The News-Dispatch reported vendors setting up for the show were hit hard and some docks were moved, but most of the yachts and boats were safely harbored in nearby Trail Creek.

Instruments with the U.S. Coast Guard measured winds of up to 92 mph.

Sightings of funnel clouds in the area midway between South Bend and Gary were reported to the National Weather Service, but no touchdowns were immediately confirmed.

A resident of New Buffalo, Mich., photographed what he believed was a waterspout coming off Lake Michigan.

Additional police officers were called in to work in Michigan City because of the troubles from the storm.

NIPSCO spokesman Mike Charbonneau said about 3,800 homes and businesses were without power in the Michigan City and LaPorte areas immediately after the storm moved through.

In Southern Minnesota, tornadoes and hail struck several towns killing one man, damaging cars and tearing roofs off at least a dozen homes. The man who died was trapped in a house near the town of Kasota when a tornado hit on Thursday.

The most serious property damage was reported in adjacent Nicollet County. There the tornado ziggged through Nicollet, a town of 800, then moved east toward St. Peter, damaging roofs from farm houses and bringing down trees and power lines. The governor planned to tour storm damage on Friday.

Area hospitals reported that people were being treated for broken bones and other injuries that were not life-threatening.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty planned to tour the storm-damaged area on Friday.

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