Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz visits Benson area to view storm damage, hear concerns – West Central Tribune

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz visits Benson area to view storm damage, hear concerns – West Central Tribune


— Rick Flower experienced a shop on his farmstead south of Benson where by he did car entire body operate. It is gone now.

Wind took it absent for the duration of the May well 12 storms that brought about common harm in the condition. All which is still left of the store is a concrete slab and the framework of 3 steel hoists.

Flower and his wife, Rhonda, stated they will rebuild, but he might be carried out carrying out car maintenance. He programs to keep farming, he reported, although grain bins and other sheds have been broken on the farm, far too.


Gov. Tim Walz speaks, middle, with Kristina Smith and Jason Connelly on May perhaps 18, 2022, about the storm destruction on their farm. The May perhaps 12 storm weakened a lot of properties and trees on the farm, which is south of Benson.

Linda Vanderwerf / West Central Tribune

At the Connelly loved ones farm not much absent, brothers Chad and Jason Connelly dropped four grain bins and a lose. Other sheds were possible damaged beyond repair.

Their large equipment, waiting to go in the fields, was not in the sheds, they reported.

Users of both households advised Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday afternoon that they were happy no one was wounded at possibly farm.

Like most farmers in the region, their most significant worry is receiving into the fields. A associated concern is wherever they’ll set their crop in the fall if their grain bins just cannot be changed in time.

Just before touring the farms, Walz met with a team of local government and enterprise leaders to chat about the problems.

Walz was accompanied by Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen and Joe Kelly, the state’s director of homeland security and unexpected emergency administration.

They listened to stories about the harm in the place and offered some tips.


A view of some of the problems, photographed May perhaps 18, 2022, at the Rick and Rhonda Flower farm south of Benson subsequent the Could 12 storm that swept as a result of Minnesota. Gov. Tim Walz visited the place to see the damage and fulfill with nearby officials Wednesday.

Linda Vanderwerf / West Central Tribune

It is vital that home house owners and area governments document the hurt as they cleanse up, Kelly claimed.

Kelly and Petersen reported individuals with destruction must call their non-public insurance plan agents, get photographs of every thing as they are cleaning up, and retain keep track of of every little thing they do.

The harm shown by the group was considerable — in addition to hundreds of trees toppled throughout the location, 450 homes were destroyed and 3 destroyed in Lac qui Parle County quite a few trees and the stadium press box were misplaced at Benson Public Educational facilities and the fire corridor roof blew off in Morris, exactly where the airport was also broken and is nevertheless shut. Some rural citizens are even now ready for energy to be restored.

Jennie-O Turkey Store President Steve Lykken claimed the company experienced an believed $15 million reduction in barns that have been weakened by the storm. Some have been “completely razed,” he stated.

About 70 to 80 work opportunities have been impacted at 12 web-sites, Lykken explained.


The Might 12 storm left a mass of twisted metal the place a yr-outdated grain bin at the time stood on the Connelly loved ones farm south of Benson. Gov. Tim Walz frequented the Benson area Wednesday, May well 18, 2022, to view storm problems and satisfy with area officers.

Linda Vanderwerf / West Central Tribune

Walz preferred to know what the most immediate want was for the communities with hurt. He has previously lifted some trucking market restrictions to make it possible for cleanup to continue on uninterrupted.

Benson Mayor Terri Collins reported some people today appear to be perplexed about wherever to switch to start their cleanup.

“Don’t hold out do what you have to do to clean up up,” Kelly reported. “Just report all your damages.”

In addition to making contact with insurance plan adjusters, folks ought to call their regional unexpected emergency managers, he claimed.

When Federal Unexpected emergency Management Agency reps arrive in the condition shortly, they will be evaluating 49 counties, and will want to see the debris that has been cleared, Kelly mentioned.

Walz asked if folks who have been even now without electrical power experienced assist. County officers explained the Red Cross, Salvation Army and local community members experienced responded.

The governor requested about psychological well being difficulties, as well.

Petersen mentioned the point out Agriculture Division can give assist for farmers who are having difficulties with the a number of stresses farmers face.

The office has a 24-hour helpline at 833-600-2670 that provides cost-free, private counseling. Enable is also readily available by texting FARMSTRESS to 898211.

The office has farm advocates working around the state, far too, Petersen claimed. They can mediate demanding conditions and “help them get some respiratory room,” he explained.

“It’s a exhibit of strength to find enable,” Walz explained. “You can only consider so numerous crises, one particular after a different.”

At the Connelly farm, he talked about harm and about the pressure people today in rural locations facial area.

“A ton of farmers you chat to, certainly, they had harm, but they are involved about the crop circumstance,” Walz reported at the Connelly farm. A chilly spring and wet weather conditions has kept numerous farmers out of the fields.

He pointed to what was left of a grain bin — typically twisted steel stairs — and reported, “The issue that normally strikes you, you will have a single farmstead untouched and then you’ll arrive below.” He gestured at the several broken buildings.

“You hear these factors on the news, and persons kinda move on,” he said. “I imagine Minnesotans need to have to know this is a bad collection of storms this is a large amount of devastation.”

For extra data about coping with farm and rural worry, go to the Section of Agriculture web-site