Skip to main content

It's been 10 years since the devastating Hugo, Minnesota tornado

A toddler was killed and nine others were injured.

It's been 10 years since the city of Hugo in the Twin Cities suburbs was hit hard by an EF-3 tornado that packed winds up to 165 mph. 

A 2-year-old child died in the storm and nine others were injured, in addition to approximately a dozen homes being leveled and another three dozen severely damaged. 

Dramatic video of the tornado was captured by a man who lived just blocks from the hardest hit areas. 

Here's a summary of the tornado from the National Weather Service: 

"This tornado touched down on the eastern side of Lino Lakes, at the eastern shore of Peltier Lake. It then tracked east and crossed Interstate 35E. It intensified to an EF-3 as it moved into northwestern Washington County and north of downtown Hugo. The tornado dissipated in eastern Hugo, north of Irish Avenue and 140th Street. It knocked over trees, lifted boat docks, and significantly damaged houses. A few barns, grain bins, and silos were also damaged."

Hail was so intense in Hugo that it was still on the ground 20 hours after the storm had passed, the NWS notes. Golf ball-sized hail and larger was also reported in St. Cloud, Anoka and Blaine. 

"Today is the 10th Anniversary of the devastating tornado that hit Hugo. At 5:00pm that day our community was changed forever," Hugo Fire and Rescue posted to Facebook

Today's Top Stories

Control of the MN Senate is now up for grabs in November

Oil-stained wildlife in area of Superior refinery explosion

– NEW: Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard.

"However out of the devastation our community grew stronger. We have rebuilt and come closer together as a community. This year, like every year, we pause to remember those that were lost. We suffered 10 years ago but we are a better, stronger community today."

In all, four tornadoes touched down that day, three in Minesota and one in western Wisconsin

The first tornado developed in Coon Rapids and traveled six miles before dissipating in Blaine near the TPC Twin Cities golf course. It was an EF-1 with winds up to 110 mph. 

Hugo's twister came next, followed by a third, very small tornado about five miles east of Hugo in Washington County. 

The fourth tornado was again small, developing in northeast Washington County and crossing the St. Croix River into Wisconsin. A fifth tornado followed, also weak, in Menomonie, Wisconsin. 

There was also a waterspout reported on Leech Lake in northern Minnesota. 

Hugo tornado 2008

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.


Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."


7 years since a large tornado ripped up north Minneapolis

The tornado touched down in St. Louis Park and moved north-northeast.

Listen back to historic live coverage of the May 6, 1965 tornado disaster

You can listen back to radio coverage of the tornadoes from WCCO.

It's been nearly 60 years since MN had a January this gloomy

The sun hasn't broken through the clouds in a week!

Thursday storms could bring tornadoes to Minnesota

Powerful twisters aren't expected, but small tornadoes can produce quite a bit of damage.

Tornado caught on camera in northern Minnesota

The tornado touched down about 45 miles north of Bemidji.