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Chandler Remembers Tornado 20 Years Later

June 10, 2012, 10:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

Chandler Remembers Tornado 20 Years Later
CHANDLER, MN -

Twenty years ago, a massive a tornado nearly wiped Chandler, Minnesota, off the map. But this weekend, the community came together to reflect on how far they've come.

On June 16, 1992, the only F5 tornado to hit the nation that year tore through a residential neighborhood. More than 150 homes were no match for the 260-mile-per-hour winds.

"The west end of town looked like a bomb went off. Everything was totally destroyed," former Fire Chief Cal Tinklenberg said.

More than 40 people were injured and one woman died in her basement.

"I am very surprised there wasn't more," Tinklenberg said. "We were bulls eye on the west end of town. It's amazing that anyone lived through it."

But twenty years after the tornado, the community is thriving. On Sunday, nearly all of the town’s residents came to reflect on that fateful day at the Chandler Christian Reformed Church.

Ministers from all three churches in 1992 led the commemoration service, bringing back memories for the survivors and teaching those who didn't live through it.

"We have to preserve history. Twenty years ago, we had the tornado in Chandler and we have a number of people were not here either by moving into town or they weren't born yet," Al Vis said.

The tornado damaged the city's water tower. On the 10-year anniversary in 2002, the city dedicated its loss with a memorial at the base of the rebuilt tower.

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