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Hurricane-force wind yields little property damage

Some of the strongest wind in memory ripped across northwestern North Dakota Tuesday (July 28) including Donnybrook where the wind speed fell just short of a category 1 hurricane.

8/04/15 (Tue)


Winds at Donnybrook reach 72 miles per hour... Two large trees, snapped like twigs, personify the scene in Donnybrook following wind gusts that reached 72 miles per hour. Numerous trees and limbs were down all over town, but Mayor Tawyna Gill said residents immediately began cleaning up the city Wednesday morning. 
By Marvin Baker

Some of the strongest wind in memory ripped across northwestern North Dakota Tuesday (July 28) including Donnybrook where the wind speed fell just short of a category 1 hurricane.

A radar station at the Minot Air Force Base recorded a 72-mile-per-hour wind gust in Donnybrook at 4:42 p.m., while the sustained wind was 52 miles per hour.

Ironically the storm did little damage, other than downed trees and limbs.

Donnybrook Mayor Tawyna Gill said Thursday morning she was unaware of any structural damage or any injuries, but numerous trees and limbs were on the ground after the storm.

“This is a small town dealing with a big-city clean up,” Gill said. “That’s what we’ve got here.”

She described it as a mess but added the nice thing about living in a small town is that everyone pitches in to get things done and back to normal.

“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of our small community and how everyone is holding their own,” Gill said. “Tractors were going at 7 a.m., Wednesday morning.”

According to Gill, a number of trees in the city park sustained some kind of damage and she told her children not to play around them or elsewhere in town.

She also cautioned Donnybrook residents that numerous tree limbs have been damaged and were dangling from the trees.

Gill didn’t expect the clean up to take more than a week, but added, several property owners are on vacation and may not like what they see when they return.

Gill said the Donnybrook wind made national news as her mother-in-law phoned from Michigan to ask if everyone was all right.

“On a positive note, we need to clean up anyway,” Gill said. “But we’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I think we need a little break.”

Tree limbs were down all over Kenmare as well, but Mildred Schmitz reported that a couple of delicate tiger lilies in her back yard, one of them 6 feet tall, made it through the storm unscathed.

“It can take trees down, but my lilies are still standing,” Schmitz said. “Oh, but were they whipping in the wind.”

The storm did knock out power in several locations. Four momentary outages occurred in Kenmare at about 5 p.m., followed by no electricity for about an hour because of a downed tree that took a power line with it.

Carpio residents reported power was out there for approximately three hours, from 5-8 p.m.

Donnybrook was actually one of several locations across western North Dakota that had wind gusts beyond 70 miles per hour.

According to the National Weather Service in Bismarck, Crosby and Garrison had the highest wind gusts at 76 miles per hour.

At 6:56 p.m., Crosby recorded its highest wind gust placing it 2 miles per hour above that of a category 1 hurricane. Crosby also had a 71-mile-per-hour wind gust at 3:56 p.m.

Garrison’s highest wind gust happened at 7:58 p.m.

Other wind gusts, according to the National Weather Service included Halliday, 71 miles per hour, Moffit, 71 miles per hour, Mandan, 69 miles per hour, Dickinson and Rugby, 68 miles per hour, Minot Air Force Base 63 miles per hour and Berthold, 62 miles per hour.

The storm, which actually lasted two days across the Great Plains, was a strange mix of summer and fall-like conditions at the same time that created various strange phenomenon for the month of July.

As an example, a tornado touched down Monday night near Melita, Manitoba and stayed on the ground for three hours, nearly missing Virden, Manitoba as it moved northeastward.

Three hours was the longest time a tornado has been on the ground since 1925.

Officials at Environment Canada said tornadoes don’t happen on the prairies a lot to begin with, but when they do, they are usually on the ground for 2 or 3 minutes.

Meanwhile Meadow Lake, Idaho recorded 1.2 inches of measurable snowfall on Monday night.

Although the storm dumped large amounts of rain in parts of central Montana, little precipitation was recorded in North Dakota other than an occasional quick shower that nearly fell horizontal because of the wind speed... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!