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Major tornado blasts ND town

Many homes destroyed, residents begin clean-up

DICKINSON, ND | July 9, 2009

Emergency officials closed the south side of this southwestern North Dakota city Thursday to all but local residents as clean-up efforts began after a EF-3 tornado destroyed and damaged many homes and apartments Wednesday night.

The Salvation Army in Bismarck sent a mobile feeding unit to help residents and response workers and the National Guard was deployed to Dickinson Thursday to help local officials. Many residents spent the night in a local shelter.

After inspecting the damage, North Dakota's Gov. John Hoeven said he was surprised at the amount of damage and said he planned to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see if a disaster declaration is warranted.

Residents whose homes were destroyed or uninhabitable were sheltered at the local National Guard Armory. Despite the severity of Wednesday night's storms, only minor injuries were reported. Approximately 250 homes were still without power Thursday night.

Severe weather continued across the midwest on Thursday with two tornadoes reported in Central Illinois. No serious damage was reported.

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