Residents begin to survey storm damage
Hugo residents who were evacuated after yesterday's apparent tornado are getting their first chance this afternoon to look at their homes or what is left of their homes.
Hugo, Minn. — A Hugo city official said more than 300 homes were damaged, and 50 were totally destroyed. The storm killed 1 child and sent 17 people to the hospital.
Police set up road blocks around the damaged area. Monday morning the city began issuing permits to allow residents through the security perimeter to survey the damage.
Resident Irwin Utech was out of town at a barbecue when the storm hit, and he hasn't seen his home, yet.
"We got a call from the oldest son that said 'Are you OK?' So, we tried getting back to the place, but you can't get there from here anymore. So we don't know if we're OK or not," Utech said.
The American Red Cross set Utech and his wife up in a hotel room last night. And after they get a look at their house, the Utechs have to go back to their hotel.
While residents were beginning to survey the damage, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Pawlenty were on a tour of the area.
Klobuchar said her heart goes out to the town.
"I know from seeing what I saw in southeastern Minnesota in Rushford that towns can rebuild," Klobuchar said. "Rushford was basically decimated from that flood, and they came back. Those are some of the words I will bring. As well we are in contact with FEMA and will do everything we can to help."
Power has been shut off in the damaged area, and authorities won't allow residents to spend the night there tonight.