Perhaps the most famous tornado that has ever hit central Minnesota was the tornado of 1886. It struck at around 4 p.m. on April 14 of that year. The total losses from this terrible storm included 74 dead and 136 injured. Another major tornado struck Benton County in 1909.
Between January, 1950 and September, 2001 there was one recorded tornado in Benton County with at least one injury or death. It occurred on August 15, 1954. One person was injured, and approximately $25,000 worth of damage occurred. There was also a major summer storm on July 12, 1978.
While windstorms and tornadoes are also a significant hazard associated with severe thunderstorms, lightning is probably the most frequent hazard associated with thunderstorms and the hazard that causes the most loss of life
A wind storm is any storm that produces winds in excess of 58 miles per hour, excluding tornadoes. Windstorms can and do occur in all months of the year; however, the most severe windstorms usually occur during severe thunderstorms in the warm months.