Tornado cleanup continues in Taopi, Minn.; residents expected to rebuild

Debris is scattered across a yard
Two people survey the damage to a structure on Wednesday after a tornado the previous night in Taopi, Minn.
Catharine Richert | MPR News file

Cleanup continues in the southern Minnesota town of Taopi after a tornado last week destroyed nearly half the homes in the community.

The EF2 tornado hit last Tuesday night, sweeping through the town of fewer than 100 people with peak winds estimated at 130 mph. Officials said 10 of the town's 24 homes are total losses.

"Everybody was told to take yesterday off, so we did not do any debris removal or any type of cleaning. The community had an Easter meal together. This morning we're back up and running,” Amy Lammey, the Mower County emergency manager, told MPR News.

“We've got public works crews here, we have the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency here — we are doing very well as far as debris removal. The trees are starting to get chipped up today,” said Lammey, who was in Taopi Monday.

People in Taopi who lost their homes are so far planning to rebuild the town, she added.

"As far as I know, everyone whose houses were destroyed, they are planning on rebuilding right where they were," she said. "So it's a matter of starting over and making their plans, working with their private insurance companies to rebuild."

Lammey said most displaced residents are staying with friends and family, and the county is helping locate long-term rental housing while the rebuild continues.

A relief fund to help Taopi residents affected by the tornado has been established at the United Farmers State Bank in nearby Adams, Minn.

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