Northwestern North Dakota Blasted by Flash Floods, Hail, Strong Winds

June 14, 2021

Utility crews are working to restore power to hundreds of people in northwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana after a round of storms smacked the region with heavy rains, high winds and hail.

The Bismarck Tribune reported the storm swept through at night on June 10.

Some areas received as much as four-and-a-half inches of rain. Williams County saw flash flooding. Part of a truck wash collapsed in Williston. That area also saw hail as large as two-and-a-half inches in diameter. Two house fires broke out during the storm on Willston’s outskirts, forcing firefighters to navigate the storm.

At least two tornadoes were sighted in McKenzie County but emergency officials said they received no reports of damage.

Winds as strong as 79 mph gusted at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Moffit. East Fairview, on the Montana-North Dakota border, saw downed trees and power lines.

Montana-Dakota Utilities crews worked to restore electricity to 7,500 customers across the Dakotas and eastern Montana. Restoration efforts will take time because the rain has left the ground so muddy and wet that repair trucks can get to some areas, Montana-Dakota Utilities spokesman Mark Hanson said. The company has rented a tracked towing vehicle to pull the trucks through the slop.

Storms packing heavy rain, hail and strong winds also toppled three semitrailers on Interstate 29, in North Dakota the next morning, June 11.

KFGO radio reported the semis were blown over in Traill and Grand Forcks counties.

North Dakota State Patrol Lt. Troy Hischer said all the rigs were northbound and ended up on their sides. One was two miles south of Hillsboro, another four miles north of Hillsboro and the third between Reynolds and Thompson.

At least one driver suffered minor injuries but was not transported to a hospital, the State Patrol said.

Workers used towing equipment to pull the rigs upright again.

Topics Flood North Dakota

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