Storm downs trees, power lines in Richardton, sparks tornado warning in Dickinson

Amber Waves.jpg
A storm knocked over an Amber Waves grain storage bin in Richardton, Wednesday night, in addition to knocking down trees and power lines. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

Severe weather Wednesday night sparked a tornado warning in Dickinson, as well as hail, downed power lines and downed trees in surrounding areas.

Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee tracked the storm.

"I was in Belfield when the storm rolled by there. It was on the northside of Belfield," said Sheriff Corey Lee. "They didn't actually get any precipitation or weather or much wind, even ... That's when the tornado warning came out of Dickinson, so I immediately began to follow the storm. I received some reports of damage in South Heart, so I checked that quickly. That was not correct. The damage was actually north of South Heart. As I was following, I think I was near the Gladstone area, and that's when we started to receive phone calls of power lines down in Taylor, hail, strong winds — no rotation or tornadoes or anything."

The Stark County Sheriff Department responded to weather-related incidents in the area.

"About the time we got to Taylor and got the roads closed off because of power lines and such, then we started receiving a call or two from the Richardton area — the power going out, same situation, strong winds, hail, power lines (and) trees down. We responded appropriately there as well."


They did not receive any reports of injuries, though some people were without power.

"I believe all power has been restored, but it did take some time into the evening to get that restored. There were several incidents of down power lines," Lee said.

The National Weather Service recorded 1.25 inch hail in Taylor at 6:38 pm, 1.25 inch hail in Richardton at 7:38 pm and 1.50 inch hail in Gladstone at 6:33 pm.

The storm also sparked a tornado warning in Dickinson Wednesday night until 6:30 pm. As part of the warning, Stark County Emergency Services activated the area's sirens, but not all of them sounded.

"We activated the sirens in the city of Dickinson and then we have a few that are included in that group, like the Dickinson airport and the Stark County Fairgrounds that are outside the city limits but are included in that group," said Bill Fahlsing, emergency manager. "They were all activated as part of that warning, but it was brought to our attention that not all of those sirens did sound."

He said they are currently working with the manufacturer of the sirens, Federal Signals, to determine the cause.

"We're working with them to look into the logs and possible root cause of what caused those particular sirens not to sound," he said.

Fahlsing said the sirens are not meant to warn people indoors, but rather those outside.


"They are meant to warn individuals that are outside to seek shelter immediately ... That's why we really push additional technology, such as signing up for the weather alerts through Stark County's weather notification system, purchasing a NOAA weather alert radio. That way, if you're indoors and can't hear a siren, you're still getting those types of alerts for severe weather. The key thing to with the outdoor warning sirens to remember is that is they're not designed (to be heard inside) — even though a lot of people can hear them inside their homes. When you have severe weather moving in with heavy winds and heavy rain, it's harder to hear those sirens."

Individuals can sign up for the Stark County Citizen Weather Alerts at or on their local weather station.

A storm in the Dickinson area knocked down trees in Richardton, Wednesday night. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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