Weather Forecast


Tornado injures man, damages buildings in Hubbard County

By Molly Miron

Bemidji Pioneer Editor

A tornado damaged at least one mobile home and tore roofs from other structures Friday morning near the town of Emmaville in Hubbard County, according to Linda Eischens of the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office.

One person was injured in the severe weather that blew through Friday morning. Chris Leritz was taken to Park Rapid's St. Joseph's Area Health Services Friday morning from injuries he received when a tornado hit the Jennie-O turkey barns near Menahga. Leritz was tossed 15 feet into the air and thrown into a turkey barn. Leritz was treated and released, according to hospital officials.

The tornado watch remained in effect until 4 p.m. Friday, but Beryl Wernberg, Beltrami County Emergency Services director, said no tornadoes touched down in the Bemidji area.

"We were really lucky," she said. "We dodged a really big bullet."

Eischens said a funnel cloud was sighted in the county about 9:15 a.m. Friday and the tornado touched down sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

At 10:38 a.m. radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado three miles west of Badoura, Minn., or 43 miles south of Bemidji, according to the National Weather Service.

Overnight, more than an inch of rain fell in the Fargo-Moorhead area, but there were no reports of hail. A reported 1.11 inches fell at Fargo's Hector International Airport. Moorhead received 1.25 inches, said meteorologist Dave Kellenbenz.

The National Climatic Data Center records show that since 1950, the beginning of the reporting period, Beltrami County has been hit by six F1 tornadoes causing a total of $278,000 damage. F1 tornadoes, the least severe classification of tornadoes, carry winds ranging from 73-112 mph. The most recent tornadoes were reported May 23, 2005, in Puposky and Blackduck, but no damage was reported by the NCDC. There have been no reports of direct tornado strikes on the city of Bemidji in the NCDC reporting period.

The Park Rapids Enterprise contributed to this story.