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A true story about two sisters and their miraculous survival of one of the most powerful tornadoes in Minnesota history
On June 13, 1968, the first F5 tornado ever recorded in Minnesota struck the town of Tracy around 7 p.m. Nine people were killed and over 100 injured. Newlyweds, Linda (Haugen) Vaske and her husband Clifford Vaske had been finalizing adoption paperwork on two-year-old Nancy Vlahos when Clifford left for military training in Washington. On the night of the tornado, Linda, her 8-year-old sister Pam and Nancy were at the Vaskes' home south of town. Linda, holding tightly onto Nancy, and Pam were unable to reach the basement in time. All three were blown out of the house. Linda was unable to maintain her grasp on Nancy. Although the sisters suffered serious injuries, both survived. However, Nancy's lifeless body was found on a street a block away. The sisters will never forget that night and rarely a day goes by that they don't think about the little girl who was taken from them.
The 11 x14 limited edition collage drawing of the 1968 Tracy, Minn. tornado was done by Minnesota artist Carissa Johnson. It contains many of the memorable sites before, during and after the F5 tornado struck. Included is the clock from the elementary school stopped at 7:03 p.m., the 25-ton box car that blew three blocks and came to rest on the intersection of Fifth and Morgan Streets, the damaged elementary school and the huts that were built to house the students the next year, the civil defense siren, a newspaper headline, an emergency vehicle, the small dollhouse found atop the rubble, the home that had the outer wall ripped off that left it looking like a large dollhouse, the tornado tree, and the new monument (far left) that will be unveiled over Labor Day weekend. Frame not included.