Tornado touches down near RichardtonA tornado touched down near Richardton at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Stark County Emergency Manager Bill Fahlsing confirmed.
A tornado touched down near Richardton at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Stark County Emergency Manager Bill Fahlsing confirmed.
No injuries were reported and the only report of damage was to a roof that was torn off of a barn, he said. Residents also reported golf-ball and quarter-size hail.
Craig Fisher lives about 6 miles east of town but was in Richardton when he saw a little “finger tornado come down about 20 feet from the ground.”
Then he saw a much bigger tornado touch down.
It was clear, Fisher said of the storm. “It wasn’t as ominous as you’d think it would be.”
“There was debris everywhere,” Fisher said. “That was the scary part — you didn’t see the cloud, just debris and then it hit a substation and there were sparks everywhere.”
He said the tornado lifted and he followed it east of town for about 5 miles until it disappeared.
There were reported power outages as far as 12 miles south of Richardton. Montana-Dakota Utilities was headed to the scene at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fahlsing said.
Richardton resident Edna Jorde was at the Richardton Health Center visiting a friend when the sirens went off and then the power began to flicker.
“I knew something was up,” she said, adding, “It was an eerie feeling.”
Employees at the center evacuated everyone to the hall. The power went out, but Jorde said she returned home and power was back after about an hour to an hour and a half.
Preliminary indications show the tornado was weak, with top wind speeds of about 85 mph, according to The Associated Press.