Violent Weather Causes Damage Across Midwest

May 26, 2010

Straight-line winds of up to 110 mph damaged farm buildings and trees near Alliance, Neb., as storms tore through the northern Plains, the National Weather Service reported May 25.

The weather service said the May 24 storms also produced tornadoes, hail and heavy rain. It said a barn about six miles north of Alliance was knocked down, as was a 105-foot tall cottonwood tree that was the centerpiece of the western Nebraska town’s Central Park.

Tornadoes were spotted in rural Nebraska areas near Kimball, Lake Minatare, Gering and Alliance.

Weather service report said a tornado damaged a barn near Thunder Hawk, S.D.

Meteorologist Patrick Ayd in Bismarck, N.D., said most of the damage was done by strong winds, not tornadoes.

“Especially southeast and to the east of Bismarck, a pretty good line of thunderstorms developed and strong winds hit a number of small towns along the way,” Ayd said.

The central North Dakota town of Harvey appeared to be one of the hardest hit, with damage to a building at the airport and numerous trees and power lines down, Ayd said.

Damage was reported to the fire hall roof in Linton, numerous farm buildings across the state were damaged or destroyed, and a semitrailer was reported blown over in Wells County, according to weather service reports. The town of Stanley saw street flooding after heavy rain, the reports said.

Farm building, power line and tree damage also was reported in South Dakota, including a 60-foot-tall pine tree in Huron that was blown over, weather reports and KOKK radio in Huron reported.

Officials in the Black Hills National Forest of western South Dakota and northeast Wyoming said more than three inches of rain and high winds left unstable soils, washed out roads and weakened trees. The public was asked to avoid forest roads and any unnecessary activities until the ground dried out and stabilized.

Wind also tore the roof off an apartment building in Scottsbluff, Neb., and baseball-size hail was reported in neighboring Gering, according to the Scottsbluff Star-Herald.

Up to 5 inches of rain fell in parts of the northern panhandle and produced flooding on the White River and Little Cottonwood Creek. The National Weather Service reported three-quarters of an inch of rain in five minutes near Bridgeport.

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