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The tornado that ripped through the small community of Taopi in southeastern Minnesota on Tuesday has been given an EF-2 rating by the National Weather Service. 

Taopi, a town of just over 50 residents that is located about 40 miles south of Rochester, was devastated by the twister that struck around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, leaving the community littered with debris from houses that were flattened, vehicles thrown like rag dolls and trees twisted and shredded. 

What the surveyors found was high end EF-2 damage, with maximum wind speeds of 130 mph. That puts it just shy of being an EF-3 tornado, which is a powerful tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale.  

  • EF-0: 65-85 mph - light damage
  • EF-1: 86-110 mph - moderate damage
  • EF-2: 111-135 mph - considerable damage
  • EF-3: 136-165 mph - severe damage
  • EF-4: 166-200 mph - devastating damage
  • EF-5: 200+ mph - incredible damage

No one was killed in the storm, but two people were injured when they tried to take cover in the basement of their home south of Taopi, according to the weather service. 

The weather service says the tornado touched down at 10:44 p.m. just south of Taopi, where it produced EF-0 damage before strengthening to an EF-2 right over the west side of Taopi.

The tornado was on the ground for just over seven miles before lifting north of town at 10:53 p.m. 

The tornado's path: Blue markers represent EF-0 damage; Green signifies EF-1 damage; Yellow indicates EF-2 damage.

The tornado's path: Blue markers represent EF-0 damage; Green signifies EF-1 damage; Yellow indicates EF-2 damage.

The tornadoes in southeastern Minnesota (there was an EF-1 tornado near Spring Valley Tuesday night) and Iowa in recent months have been destructive.

The historic December 15 tornado outbreak dropped 20 tornadoes in southern Minnesota and many more in Iowa, while there was a EF-4 tornado that killed six people in the Winterset, Iowa area in early March. 

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