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Twisters kill three in Minnesota

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Twisters ravage areas of Minnesota
  • Twisters cause damage to homes, schools and stores; at least 17 people injured
  • Widespread areas left without electricity
  • Governor on his way to survey damage

(CNN) -- Deadly tornadoes touched down Thursday in Minnesota, killing at least three people, and injuring at least 17 more, officials said.

Minnesota suffered widespread damage and power outages, said Doug Neville, a spokesman for the state's public safety department. He said Gov. Tim Pawlenty was on his way to survey the damage in affected areas.

The twisters hit the town of Wadena hard, ripping off roofs and damaging schools, buses and stores. Neville said 14 people had been taken to hospitals, 13 of them in critical condition.

In Almora, Margi Schulke, 79, died when her house was destroyed by a tornado, said Otter Tail County spokesman David Hauser. Six homes were destroyed and 35 homes damaged in the western Minnesota county, Hauser said.

Video: Tornado spins across horizon
  • Tornadoes
  • Minnesota

Another woman died when a tornado hit her home in southern Freeborn County, said Sheriff Mark Harig. The third death occurred at a convenience store in Mentor in Polk County, Neville said.

The Polk County Sheriff's Department said three more people at the Mentor C Store were injured. Two were transported to a local hospital, and one of those two was injured badly enough to require LifeFlight to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

CNN's Melanie Whitley contributed to this report.