What are the odds?

There’s a lot of open space in rural Minnesota, and yet tornados struck buildings where few exist yesterday.

It wasn’t that many years ago that I was traveling in rural Minnesota and thought, “there’s no reason to pay attention to tornado warnings here. There’s nothing but land.” And that is one of the takeaways from yesterday’s tornadoes: A few feet this way or a few feet that way, and people live. The tornado ends up in a field or some woods where it can’t do any damage.

Courtesy of Google Earth, here’s proof. This is Almora, where one person died. The location is marked by the push pin.


The owner of a convenience store died in Mentor:


The third person was killed in Armstrong…


What are the odds? About 1 in 60,000, according to Live Science.

  • Susan WB

    Oops! Bob, your last two photos are the same.

    When I was growing up in rural MN, we took those tornado warnings seriously. And this is precisely why.

  • CHS

    The 2nd map of what should be Armstrong would show an even more remote location. Miles from anything larger than a gas station. I grew up a few miles from there, all of my family still living in there. I saw a video on Youtube posted by a stormchaser, filming the tornado from the end of their driveway last night. A quarter mile off in track and it would be my family, not the unfortunate family in Armstrong. You can never take the warnings too lightly, anywhere.