1 dead in 'pretty destructive' Minnesota tornado; storm chaser captures it on close-up footage

Storm chaser captures close-up view of deadly tornado sweeping through Minnesota

Deadly tornado caught on camera by storm chasers Minnesota.

One person is and two others injured after a tornado touched down in a central Minnesota town Wednesday evening.

The tornado struck near Dalton around 5:30 p.m. and made its way to Ashby.

Ashby Mayor Tom Grover, which described the tornado as "pretty destructive," said three farmsteads were also hit, with one completely flattened.

Meteorologist Vince Godon with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota, believes the tornado was in the EF-3 category, with winds of 36-65 mph.

Two women who were caught in the storm, Alissa Wilbur and Paige Fode, captured the tornado on their cellphones. The two were driving from the Twin Cities when they got a severe thunderstorm warning on their cell phones.

They were prepared for a storm. They weren't prepared for the low growl of a tornado heading their way.

"It was definitely an experience, very scary," Wilbur told the local CBS station. "It kind of got in front of us a little bit. Thankfully it veered to the right and went into those fields."

The women said the tornado popped up quickly, but stayed spinning near the interstate where they were driving.

"On the ground probably 20 minutes that we could see," Wilbur said.

Once Wilbur and Fode crossed the interstate, the tornado ripped across, they could see "there was water everywhere. It had picked up water from some lake or something," Fode said.

The women continued to drive "because we didn't really know what to do," Fode said, adding that there were no exits to take where they could seek shelter.

JoAnn Beardsley and her grandkids were enjoying a day at Pelican Lake when the weather turned on them.

"We were swimming and I saw what looked like it was coming out of the clouds and then a funnel formed inside," Beardsley told WCCO. She grabbed the kids and got out of the area before the storm got too big.

"I figured it had to be a pretty monstrous tornado because I'm probably at least three, four miles from where it would drop down," she said.

Storm chaser Melanie Metz captured some close-up footage of the deadly storm.

"I followed the tornado from the moment it touched down until it roped out," she said on FOX9. "My chase partner and I called in reports to the National Weather Service when the first funnel formed. This allowed the NWS to issue a tornado warning very quickly."

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