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Initiative Quarterly

Support Greater Todd County in Storm Recovery Efforts

August 30, 2022


A Memorial Day EF-1 tornado tore through Eagle Bend, leaving a path of destruction affecting everything from grain bins to downtown businesses.

Rebuilding continues from late spring Eagle Bend and Clarissa storms

Little Falls, Minn.--Eagle Bend residents went from celebrating on Memorial Day weekend to seeking shelter when an EF-1 tornado tore through the area with wind speeds topping 95 mph. Main Street in this eastern Todd County community saw the heaviest damage, including toppled downtown building walls and destroyed grain bins. The tornado tracked about 15 miles, causing an estimated $250,000 in damages to dozens of homes, businesses and 70-plus agricultural buildings. The townships of Eagle Valley, Germania, Moran and Staples also were affected.

On May 12, straight-line winds in excess of 85 mph left a path of damage across Todd County. The storms damaged dozens of homes, machine sheds, silos and barns. At least two of the homes are uninhabitable. Most property owners have some level of insurance but are experiencing myriad complications, ranging from high deductibles to insufficient coverage to significant delays in securing labor and materials for needed repairs.

Property owners who qualify can apply for SBA disaster assistance loans. The deadline to apply is Sept. 23.

“Long after storm photos and videos disappear from news coverage, business owners and residents are still working to rebuild and recover,” said Don Hickman, Initiative Foundation vice president for community and workforce development. “The road to recovery is a long one. We’re here for the long haul for Eagle Bend, Clarissa and other Todd County locations as residents and business owners work to rebuild and repair.”

“Because these storms were smaller and spread out, they didn’t receive the attention from the public that others received last spring,” said Pastor Del Moen, Faith Lutheran, Eagle Bend; Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Clarissa; Calvary Lutheran Church, Little Sauk. “There are some people who are feeling they have been forgotten.”

“We know from experience, that rebuilding after a storm can be a slow, expensive and overwhelming process for homeowners and businesses,” said Ruth Talford, disaster program manager for Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. “Especially with rural, low-attention disasters, resources are hard to come by and those impacted may feel alone and forgotten. But with the partnership of community leaders and caring volunteers, relief funding like this is instrumental in restoring hope and enabling recovery.”

Join the Initiative Foundation in supporting the Greater Todd County Disaster Recovery Fund. The Initiative Foundation will match up to $10,000 match to all funds raised. Give at givemn.org/Greater-Todd-Relief. All donations to the fund are tax deductible.

High-resolution Clarissa photo | Web version
High-resolution Eagle Bend photo | Web version

Photos courtesy of Todd County Sheriff's Office. 

About the Initiative Foundation
The Initiative Foundation supports a 14-county service area that includes Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties and the sovereign tribal nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe. Based in Little Falls, the Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities in Central Minnesota by offering business loans, nonprofit grants, leadership training and donor services through its Partner Funds programs. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds have invested multiple millions in the region through targeted grants and business financing investments. Visit ifound.org.

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