High winds, hail pound Killdeer during Sunday evening storm
KILLDEER -- Early evening storms caused extensive damage throughout Killdeer on Sunday. The damage was so bad that Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew said “the town looked like a war zone.”
Brew said that many homes had significant damage, including siding ripped off of more than one mobile home and heavy damage to cars that were parked outside.
“Any vehicle that was sitting outside was pretty much totaled,” Brew said. “Even the law enforcement vehicles. These people are trying to go out and help people, and they can’t even do that because their cars had so much damage.”
Hill Top Home of Comfort, a nursing home in Killdeer, also received extensive damage.
Cheryl Lantz, director of nursing for the facility, said many windows were blown out due to hail and wind damage. She said the nursing home followed its storm protocol and brought all of the residents to the middle of the building to keep everyone safe.
Lantz said the windows have now been boarded up and thanked the Hill Top staff and other volunteers for being able to work so quickly.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Savadel said the town sustained a lot of wind-driven hail, which can cause hail to cause more damage than it might normally on its own. Reports state that the hail in Killdeer was more than 3 inches in diameter.
Brew said one residence had approximately 5 inches of hail piled up against the door and that law enforcement had to use a shovel to move it all.
“It looked like a snowstorm had hit,” she said.
Brew said that no one was injured during the storm.
“Everything’s repairable,” she said. “Even though it’s pretty terrible, everything can be fixed.”
Early morning storm causes damage across Dickinson
Dickinson residents spent Sunday cleaning up after storms with powerful wind gusts went through the area overnight.
The storms started around midnight and continued until around 2 a.m. Officials from the National Weather Service in Bismarck said wind gusts were measured around 74 mph north west of Taylor. The NWS also said that local law enforcement in Dickinson reported wind gusts of around 60 mph, but many people have reported that winds may have gotten up to 80 mph in the city overnight.
Power was also knocked out for many households across the area. Officials with Montana-Dakota Utilities said approximately 300 residents in Belfield were without power for about three hours early Sunday morning. Laura Lueder, an official with MDU, explained that a total of around 2,100 Dickinson residents were also without power from about 11:45 p.m. Saturday to about 2 a.m. Sunday.
The high winds caused damage all across the city, including reports that several trampolines had flipped out of yards and into neighbor’s yards and some even came close to streets.
Doug Ballweber was sleeping in his basement during the storm, so he didn’t hear anything going on, but he got quite the rude awakening Sunday when his son told him that he wouldn’t want to go look at his car.
When Ballweber walked outside, he found that a large tree branch had fallen onto the back of his Chevy Tracker, which he bought about a year ago.
“I really wasn’t expecting that this morning,” he said. “I put a hail shield up because I heard it was supposed to hail. So, I put that up and then a damn tree falls on it.”
Ballweber said he isn’t quite sure what he is supposed to do, especially since many insurance offices and others are closed on Sundays.
More storms are expected Sunday night. The NWS said Dickinson area residents can expect storms similar to early Sunday morning with possible high winds, hail and heavy rain. Officials also said tornadoes are always a possibility with strong thunderstorms and to be cautious whenever severe weather is forecasted.
Lueder said power outages are also a possibility with severe weather and if you should see a downed power line to stay away.
“Always assume a line that’s down is live,” she said. “Call us (MDU) or call 911. Most often the damage is trees coming down. So it’s also important to avoid trees that are down and that may be touching power lines.”