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That was a tornado that blew off the roof at Camp Ripley


National Guard members sometimes go to tornado sites but this week a tornado came to them.

Camp Ripley, the Minnesota National Guard training center near Little Falls, saw major damage to several buildings Wednesday night from what the Weather Service now confirms was a tornado.

The Guard said in a statement there was major damage to several buildings when the storm arrived after 10 p.m.

The garrison commander, Col. Scott St. Sauver, was grateful that no one was injured. "We can repair buildings and replace damaged equipment, but our people are irreplaceable," St. Sauver said.

Damage assessment was underway Thursday.

Damage to solar panels, too

Camp Ripley was getting ready for a big event next week. Officials planned to dedicate a new solar array that will generate 10 megawatts of electricity for Minnesota Power.

The solar plant was nearly finished but according to FOX 9, 25 percent of its panels were damaged by flying debris during the tornado.

Minnesota Power says when the Camp Ripley facility does open it will be one of the largest single-site solar arrays in the state.

As for the weather, forecasters say rain passing through Minnesota Friday should mainly be in the form of showers, though some severe storms are possible in the southeast. The skies are expected to clear up for the weekend.

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NWS: Tornado watch in effect until 10 p.m.

Spotters say a tornado touched down briefly near Glenwood this evening. Parts of southwest, west central and central Minnesota are under a tornado watch until 10 p.m. Tuesday. Large hail and damaging winds are possible.