Tornado causes only minor damage

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Shortly after 4 last Thursday afternoon tornado sirens in Benson began to wail as multiple sightings of funnel clouds were reported to the Swift County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.
Perhaps as many as three tornadoes formed near Benson late Thursday afternoon. At least one caused minor damage at the north end of Ambush Park and the Benson Golf Course.
At approximately 4:02 p.m., the sheriff’s office received the first report of a funnel cloud west of Benson from a trained weather spotter. “Over the next 45 minutes, multiple reports of funnel clouds were received,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. “There were confirmed touchdowns extending from just south of Benson to north and northwest of Benson.”
At the golf course, the tornado uprooted two large pine trees and snapped several trees. There was also a report of siding being blown off a building.
As the storm moved northeast, tornadoes were also reported by Lake Hassel and in southern Pope County. The National Weather Service is also looking into reports of a tornado in Chippewa County. Multiple photographs of the funnel clouds and tornadoes were taken by area residents and posted to their Facebook pages.
Last year Minnesota saw only 15 tornadoes, the fewest since 1990 when there were just 12.

Photo: As her father Tony Lenz drove south of Benson on MInnesota Highway 29, Gracie, 13, took photos of the tornado that had formed west of the city last Thursday afternoon.

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