Monday’s unprecedented storm outbreak, which brought the earliest tornadoes to the state in recorded history, had a devastating impact on a family with St. Michael-Albertville ties.
STMA Middle School East student Opie Johnson and his mother, Carie LeClare, were at their home in Zimmerman with Carie’s boyfriend, Jeff Anderson, when the storms ripped up U.S. Highway 169 and struck several homes in the northern part of that community. Homes between Zimmerman and Princeton – two cities separated by just a few miles and Orrock Township – received heavy storm damage, including Anderson’s. Jeff’ and Carie’s house was destroyed by the winds and falling trees.
While insurance will help the couple rebuild, it will not account for Carie and Opie’s belongings. Opie lives in St. Michael part time with his father, Bob Johnson. Carie and Jeff are engaged, but aren’t married, so most of Carie’s things are lost to the storm’s destruction.
You can see the power the March 7 storm had here, on this report by WCCO:
Friends and family have set up a fundraiser for Opie and his mother through a GoFundMe account. They’re looking to raise $15,000 to help with repairs and to replace many of the things lost in the tornado.
You can assist with the family’s recovery effort here: