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Press Photo by Jennifer McBride South Heart Police Chief Linda Mosbrucker holds hail she kept from a Thursday night storm while standing next to her squad car which suffered hail damage at her home Friday afternoon.

Hail damages homes, cars, crops in and around South Heart

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SOUTH HEART -- Besides those who got smacked as they ran outside to grab a piece of hail to keep in their freezer as a souvenir, there were no reports of injuries from a Thursday night storm that left damage throughout town.

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Shattered windows, holes in siding and fences, battered crops, leaves everywhere and hail-dented cars are scattered across the area.

"It was really really windy," Police Chief Linda Mosbrucker said of the storm that rolled in at about 9 p.m. Thursday. "It was a breeze and all of a sudden it picked up really hard and it started raining first and then the hail came."

The hail started as pea-sized and got bigger for 10 to 15 minutes as it fell. Mosbrucker got calls from eight concerned citizens during the storm.

"The way it was pounding on the house," Mosbrucker said. "I admit I way praying that it would stop."

Fields suffered major damage and Frank Hurt, who farms about 10 miles southwest of South Heart, said some fields are likely a total loss though the storm missed his fields.

Along with South Heart, much of southwestern North Dakota was under severe thunderstorm warnings Thursday night.

"It was ugly clouds when I was out combining," Hurt said. "And it was lightning to beat the band."

The storm sounded "like hell" is how Franks' cousin and city Mayor Floyd Hurt describes it. "It really hammered on roofs and windows."

Mert Schlautmann's garden "was looking pretty good" and she said it was the tallest squash she has had but by Friday morning "it got pretty beat up." She said she also watched the streets flood as the storm went through.

"It was just a nasty hail storm and it's not the first and it certainly won't be the last," South Heart Emergency Manager and City Commissioner Chuck Andrus said. "People will pick up the clutter, roll up their sleeves and get to work."

He suggests people get pictures of the damage and contact their insurance agents.

Residents can take tree and other green debris (no metal or other debris) to the landfill, which will be open this weekend, Andrus said.

Stark County Emergency Management had no damage reports from the storm other than a call from Andrus, administrative assistant Shirley Meduna said Friday morning.

Elsewhere

Hettinger

Roy Rowley, who lives on a farm 12 miles outside of Hettinger, said winds were between 75 and 100 mph Thursday evening.

"We were hiding in the basement," he said. "The wind took my barn, and the roof off my chicken coop."

He said it blew down trees, blew a wall off the garage and the roof fell onto his wife's car. It left them without power from about 8:45 p.m. until 10 a.m. Friday.

"It blew the east wall off of our garage, causing the roof to fall on top of my wife's car."

A call to the Adams County emergency manager was not returned.

Gladstone

Gladstone Fire Chief Joe Wanner said the department got a call after midnight that lightning had struck a workshed on a farm outside of town.

Fire destroyed the trailer house- turned workshed.

"The flames engulfed the entire structure and we got there just as the fire was threatening to emerge from the roof and windows," he said. "There was a propane tank that caught fire, as well."

The residents said that when it ignited and the fire took off the relief valve went out and they heard an awful roar from the fire. That was definitely a hazard, Wanner said.

Firefighters were on scene at about 12:30 a.m. Friday and back at the station at about 2:30 a.m.

There were no injuries and Wanner does not have a damage estimate.

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