In late September 2018, tornadoes touched down in several southeastern Minnesota towns, including Granada, Faribault, Medford and Morristown. The area lost power and many people experienced property damage.
An integral part of the community, Faribault Community Cooperative employees responded to the storms by feeding farmers who were busy with clean up and repairs.
“We’ll be feeling this [storm damage] for a couple years, especially on the building and equipment side. It’s heart-wrenching seeing a lot of [our customers’] hard work just ruined,” says Kelley Watts, office manager, Faribault Community Cooperative.
The tornadoes wreaked havoc on businesses, campgrounds, homes and farms throughout the area and leveled trees, grain sites, barns, dairy parlors, propane tanks, corn fields, semis and more.
“Many crops were damaged and made harvest much more time consuming,” says Watts. “Some farmers are still waiting on insurance companies before they can move forward since insurance companies were inundated too.”
On the night of the storm and the morning after, cooperative employees delivered fuel for generators on farms and at the local school, assessed damages to propane tanks and helped clean debris off tanks and equipment.
The cooperative also delivered more than 150 sack lunches to farmers in Faribault and Morristown, Minn. The meals were made with items purchased from the local Hy-Vee store, who helped cover the cost.
“We wanted to come together to help those in need,” says Watts. “This storm will impact farmers through the rest of the harvest year and beyond.”