Rice County declares State of Emergency

A Facebook photo by Lynnae Byers shows just a part of the destruction caused by the storm and tornadoes last night. 

As officials continue to assess the damages throughout Rice County, they are encountering a significant amount traffic congestion due to high volumes of on lookers in the damaged areas. In a press release to area news outlets, they would like people to stay away from the areas.


“We respectfully request non-residents of these areas to stay away so we can continue to clean up the areas and restore utilities. This congestion could result in delays of first responders, public works and highways as well as utility companies to get to their destinations and do their jobs.  Please stay clear of these affected areas,” said Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn.


At 1:30 p.m. on September 21, Rice County declared a State of Emergency.  This comes as a result of the damage caused by the severe weather on Thursday.


At 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, Rice County was put into a tornado warning. The severe weather first entered Rice County south of Morristown. The path continued through the southeast portion of Morristown and continued northeast towards Faribault. The storm continued through the county northeast toward Dundas, Northfield and Dennison. 


Approximately a dozen homes are uninhabitable in the city of Morristown, with another two dozen that have sustained damages. In Morristown Township, at least six residences and outbuildings have been severely damaged. At this time, there have been no reported injuries in Morristown.  


A number of crashes were reported as a result of the storms as well. No serious injuries have been reported.  


A number of boats and watercraft have been flipped over or blown away from the shore lines on Cedar and Roberds Lakes. A number of vehicles have also been damaged due to debris and trees falling on them.  


“We have significant structural damage reported in Shieldsville, Wells, Cannon City and Northfield townships. A number of homes and outbuildings have been severely damaged or destroyed as well as a loss of livestock,” Dunn stated. “We are continuing to assess the damages and ask that our citizens as well as the general public refrain from driving or walking in the storm-ravaged areas. As the clean-up process begins, many of these areas remain unsafe due to debris that has been displaced throughout the area.”  


The utility companies have been notified and do not have an estimated time for repairs or return of power.   


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