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WADENA, Minn. (AP) — Police and National Guard soldiers blocked off neighborhoods Friday as city officials organized a cleanup from tornadoes that ripped through the city the night before, part of a turbulent system that fueled twisters across the state and killed at least three people.
Dozens more were injured in Thursday's heavy weather. The National Weather Service collected 36 reports of tornado sightings, with northwestern and southern Minnesota hit hardest. If the sightings are all confirmed, it would exceed the previous state record of 27 in one day, in 1992.
In northwestern Minnesota, a woman was killed in Almora and a gas station owner was killed in Mentor. In southern Minnesota, one person was killed at a farm west of Albert Lea.
Wadena, a town of about 4,300 people that lies 70 miles southeast of Fargo, appeared to suffer the most extensive property damage. The storms destroyed or damaged dozens of homes and other buildings, toppled power lines and left a big chunk of the town without trees. Officials met Friday morning to plan the town's next step.
"First we were outside watching it. Then we went inside and it got really, really nasty," Sara Carpenter, 18, said. Her family's home was badly damaged, and they spent the night at the AmericInn in town. "It's pretty much gone," she said of their house.
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