WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 17, 2011, 09:06 PM

The Wadena Tornado: One Year Later

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One year ago today, people living in Wadena were sifting through rubble left behind from an EF4 tornado.

It shattered glass, destroyed buildings including a high school and left millions worth of damage. But what's important to the people in living in Wadena is their spirit and sense of community. Although the town hasn't fully recovered, a the town has come together like never before.

The day began much like it did one year ago today. People doing everyday things. But the mood was different.

Harry Dahlin – Works in Wadena: "I think we all appreciate life a little bit more that we did a year ago."

And everywhere you turned a story to tell.

Morris Priebe – Tornado Survivor: "You had trees, this way and that way"

Kevin Albertson – Lives in Wadena: "We spent 10 months in an apartment"

Dahlin: "There’s a big difference from what it was a year ago."

People like Kevin....putting the finishing touches on his new home on the same lot his old home was destroyed by the tornado.

Albertson: "But were home and it feels good it feels good."

What looked like a war zone on June 17th of 2010….Is a thriving community..

What tears structures apart….Has strengthened a community.

Larry Gallagher – Tornado Survivor: "It’s just been in some respects good for the whole community for all the work provided in a community that didn't have any."

Not one of the dozens of businesses affected by the tornado has left town. Only 30 empty home lots remain and more than 2 thousand trees have been replanted.

Priebe: "I’m kind of impressed it did get re built as quick as it did you know."

And the high school that was destroyed. Well the new one is on its way up, the 38 million dollar project will be done by the 2012 school year.

Dahlin: "I just think what a good job."

The bricks of a town being rebuilt; The pride of the community reborn. And a new appreciation of life that no storm will take away

Kevin Albertson: "Nothing is permanent, and the tornado proved that."