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Litchfield Police: Tornado Damage Worst In 10 Years

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Several central Minnesota counties reported serious damage after tornadoes moved through the area Monday evening.

The area saw two confirmed tornadoes, with Watkins and Litchfield being hit the hardest. There were no reported injuries.

The Meeker County Sheriff said 15 to 20 homes were damaged in the storms. The sheriff and the Litchfield police chief said it was the worst damage they have seen in 10 years.

"I was not home at the time when it happened, I was at work," said Litchfield resident Rae Ann Brutger. "This is what I come home to."

Tornado damage in Litchfield -- July 11, 2016
(credit: Nina Moini)

Litchfield Mayor Keith Johnson said at least two homes near County Road 1 and 5th Street were completely destroyed. He said no one was hurt.

In Watkins, the assisted living portion of the Hilltop Health Care Center was evacuated when the roof was damaged. Thirty-four residents were bused to other facilities.

"All the sudden there were things blowing all over," said one resident. "There's a side on each door. One would open and shingles would come flying in that door and the other one would open and go flying out that door. I looked and I thought, 'Holy cow, we're in the middle of a tornado.'"

The American Red Cross said volunteers were helping approximately 50 people in Watkins after the storms.

The Stearns County dispatch said most of the damage was in the southern part of the county, along the Meeker County border between Kimball and Cold Springs.

The tornadoes began in central Minnesota around 6:30 p.m. before moving northeast through St. Cloud.

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