Volunteers will help assess tornado damage as cities clean up after the storm

Inspectors will assess the damage Thursday.

Towns are cleaning up after two tornadoes touched down Monday, setting records for the earliest a tornado has hit in Minnesota.

Clarks Grove – which is in southern Minnesota, just north of Albert Lea – submitted requests for help getting things back in order. State and local building officials responded, saying they'll volunteer time to help with damage assessments.

Inspectors will go through the small city on Thursday.

The Clarks Grove tornado was an EF-1 tornado (so on the weaker side). It stretched 12.3 miles and was up to 300 yards wide. Luckily no one was injured in the storm.

However, there was plenty of damage.

Buildings were toppled and trees were uprooted. You can see a bunch of photos of the aftermath here. But don't travel to the city – at least not right now. City officials say visitors are getting in the way of their cleanup.

"It has become hard to accomplish anything with all the sight seers in the roads and in the way," the city posted to Facebook. "Look at pictures and please refrain from just driving around."

The city posted to Facebook again Wednesday afternoon saying the Freeborn County Highway Department has finished curbside branch removal. So if you still have brush, you'll need to schedule a separate pickup.

The other tornado hit Zimmerman, which is just northwest of the Twin Cities. That one was similar in size: EF-1, 300 yards wide and spanned almost nine miles. It damaged dozens of homes.

The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office sent out a notice that it'd be cleaning up. It also asked people to avoid the area while crews work.

You can see more photos of the storm damage here.

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