Governor views storm damaged areas
PARK RAPIDS - Gov. Tim Pawlenty viewed damage Monday morning from tornadoes that touched down in northern Wadena and southern Hubbard counties Friday.
Pawlenty commented on the lack of warning about the storm and how fortunate it was that no one was killed.
"It reminds you of the force and power of Mother Nature," the governor said. "Even with all our technology, Mother Nature is a force we have to respect."
From downed trees to Styrofoam insulation in lakes to debris strewn in farm fields, Pawlenty emphasized there is a lot of work to be done. He encouraged a cooperative effort involving the community, the public and private sector.
Downed timber on state, county and private land has marketable timber down that will need to be cleaned up. Pawlenty said he will make sure the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is doing their part.
Hubbard County Sheriff Gary Mills and Emergency Services Director Dave W. Konshok joined the governor on a helicopter tour along the path of the damage and briefed him on follow-up activities.
"The response so far has been extremely positive," Pawlenty said.
"We want to emphasize that Park Rapids is open for business and people should continue with their vacation and tourism plans," he added.
The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has given preliminary ratings to the tornadoes as an F-2 in Wadena County and an F-3 in Hubbard County.