Monday, June 21, 2010

Wadena Aftermath

I'm certain that many readers of this blog are aware of the violent tornado that struck Wadena last Thursday evening, June 17. There has been extensive media coverage of the widespread destruction this storm caused. I thought I would take this chance to share a rail-related photo illustrating a small fraction of the destruction.


This shot of a covered hopper sitting on the spur serving what used to be the Leaf River Ag fertilizer plant is a good illustration of how things look in a substantial swath of the west side of town. I didn't get a shot of the car laying on its side, which it was after the tornado struck. BNSF's crack employees have the car upright and on the rails today.

The spur itself used to lead into an unloading shed that no longer exists. I think one of the walls of that shed is leaning against what remains of the fertilizer storage building. Also of interest is a large chunk of what used to be Wadena's community center in the picture. That's the silver blob at the right edge of the frame. Another large portion of the community center landed on the southeast corner of the high school, and a third good sized piece was found a couple of blocks further east.

I don't know what the co-op's plans for this facility are, but it was just completely replaced a year or two ago so I expect they will rebuild on site.

Wadena will never be the same. More than 200 homes were seriously damaged or destroyed, and many of the seriously damaged ones will be bulldozed. The west side of town along Highway 10 was littered with snowmobile trailers, school buses, and cement blocks.

But the most important outcome from the tornado was human. Although a number of people were transported to the emergency room as a result of injury, not one person in Wadena was killed. I thank the Lord that people were spared, and also that my own home was not among those damaged. Also, I appreciate the calls and emails from people who know I live in Wadena and expressed their concern, it meant a lot. Thank you!

Jim

1 comment:

Bryant said...

Driving through Wadena to get to Verndale on Saturday, and then driving along 210 and 29 back toward Alexandria was both awe inspiring and heart wrenching. You and the rest of Wadena continue to be in my prayers.