In the early evening hours on July 8, two tornadoes touched down in Otter Tail County, creating a 6 to 9-mile path damage and debris in the southern area of the county.

The first tornado was reported at 5:08 pm 6 miles south of Dalton, following a National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area. A short time later, a second one was reported at 5:11 pm 6 miles south of Dalton and one-half mile from Interstate 94, in Grant County, traveling northwest.

The Sheriff’s Office responded with the assistance of surrounding law, fire, and emergency medical service agencies, finding several homes and farmstead buildings damaged or destroyed. House-by-house safety checks were conducted, and two Dalton area residents were transported to local hospitals with unknown conditions. Tragically, Seth Nelson, a thirty-year-old man from Battle Lake has died as a result of the tornadoes.

“I would like to thank all of the those that quickly responded to assist in the response. Multiple law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services and many other volunteers responded to the area and assisted with the search and rescue, ensuring those injured were quickly evacuated and transported,” said Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons.

On Thursday, Otter Tail County and the National Weather Service officials will conduct formal damage assessments to assess the strength of the system and identify the full extent of damages done to residential and commercial property and community infrastructure.

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Sheriff Deputies will also continue to patrol the impact zone to protect properties.

Otter Tail County sends it deepest sympathy to the families of those impacted by the severe weather.