Weather Forecast


Klobuchar to return to Wadena to speak at school groundbreaking

Wadena-Deer Creek School District grounds and custodian staffers Mike Kenney (le

WADENA — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be in Wadena Friday to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Wadena-Deer Creek High School to replace the one that was destroyed by the tornado that ripped through the community last June.

The ceremony is planned for 3 p.m. Friday at 600 Colfax Ave. S.W.

The new Wadena-Deer Creek High School is being built on the same site as the former high school and is expected to be ready for classes in the fall of 2012. In the meantime, students have been attending classes at an elementary school and at M State Community and Technical College.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Klobuchar and Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden will also visit Leaf River Ag Service, an agriculture co-op which lost its building to the tornado. Leaf River Ag Service is near the high school on Homecrest Avenue. Klobuchar met with Scott Dau, the general manager of the co-op, a few days after the tornado hit.

Last year on June 17, a series of 48 tornadoes stormed across Minnesota, setting a one-day record for tornadoes in Minnesota. Wadena was the hardest hit community, with the EF4 tornado — with peak winds estimated at 170 mph — destroyed more than 200 homes and buildings. The tornado made its initial touchdown about 3 miles south-southwest of Wadena  about 5 p.m., and produced a continuous damage path through Wadena before lifting about 7 miles north-northeast of the town by 5:18 p.m.

Damage extended as much as 1.1 miles wide at times along the 10-mile long path.  The most extreme damage was located from the southwest Wadena residential area into the industrial area located between the high school and the Highway 10 corridor.