Storms cause power outagesThousands of homes in at least three area counties were without power early Thursday morning and wicked wind also broke windows, twisted trees and picked up a vehicle, area officials say.
Thousands of homes in at least three area counties were without power early Thursday morning and wicked wind also broke windows, twisted trees and picked up a vehicle, area officials say.
Strong wind and heavy rain came along with a thunderstorm that hit southwestern North Dakota early Thursday morning.
Areas of Stark, Bowman and Golden Valley counties lost power between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. and it stayed off into daybreak and even later for some.
Funnel clouds were seen south of Hettinger at about 10:40 Thursday morning, Adams County Emergency Manager Libby Gravning said.
“Some are calling it a tornado, but it really wasn’t,” she said, adding it never touched the ground but it broke branches, trees and windows in an apartment building. It also lifted a vehicle off the ground and turned it part way around, damaging it.
McKenzie County Emergency Manager Jerry Samuelson said he received a number of calls from people wondering where they could take shelter.
“We have a lot of oilfield workers living in campers and trailer houses,” he said, adding they are new to the area and don’t know where to go.
Lightning hit and split a tree and pea-size hail fell in the county, Samuelson added.
The Courthouse has a shelter, along with McKenzie County Health Care Systems (the hospital on Main Street) and Good Shepherd Nursing Home, 709 Fourth Ave. NE. Walk in and they will help, he said.
Bowman County Emergency Manager Dean Pearson said all power from Bowman and Rhame to the west, except Scranton, went out early Thursday. It came back on at about 12:30 p.m.
Power was brought back up at about 7 a.m. in Golden Valley County, Emergency Manager Carrie Law said, but as of about 10:50 a.m. it continued to flicker on and off.
Residents concerned with powering their oxygen machines or other medical equipment during power outages can call Law for assistance at 701-872-4331, she said.
Stark County Emergency Manger Brent Pringle said he had no other weather-related reports besides power outages.
A major transmission line between Glendive and Dickinson had issues, leaving about 2,000 people without power, he said.
Slope County Sheriff Pat Lorge said Thursday morning that there were no problems reported from the storm in his area.
Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew said she did not get reports of trouble either.
“There was a lot of rain but no closed roads,” she said, adding the northwestern portion of the county got more than an inch of rain.
Thursday’s storm may just be the beginning.
“Use common sense and keep an eye to the sky,” Gravning said. “I think this is going to be a long summer.”
Several areas in eastern North Dakota experienced severe storms and a funnel cloud was seen near Valley City, according to Forum Communications Co. reports.
— Ashley Martin contributed to the story.