Statewide Blog

They call it the ‘Oz House’

Not that you need any more proof that tornadoes can do amazing things, but here's an example from the June 17 tornado that hit Armstrong near Albert Lea.

A staffer for Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management took the picture last week and posted it on the agency's Facebook page. The photographer explains:

It was lifted off of its foundation, moved about 20 feet, rotated 90 degrees and set down. They have nicknamed it the "Oz House" in Freeborn County.

The home is owned by Bob and Laural Hanson. The Albert Lea Tribune reports they were not home when the tornado hit.

When the storm was approaching, they decided to join others at the Main Street Grill. In Alden, people told them homes had been leveled.

When they returned, they found their home, on gravel 680th Avenue just south of Freeborn County Road 46's junction with County 12, completely removed from its foundation, almost like in the "Wizard of Oz."

What's it take to pick up a house as if it were a piece from a Monopoly board game? An EF4 tornado with winds of 175 mph will do it. Officials have confirmed that an EF4 tornado hit Freeborn County that day. It was the first EF4 twister to hit the area since 1967.

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