July 30, 2014 | Volume 101 / Number 31

Wind Storm Causes Widespread Damage In Valley County

The National Weather Service in Glasgow had a busy day last week as warnings were issued for a storm that ended up moving rapidly through Valley County. The weather service reported that it was a widespread storm that moved along the Hi-Line from Malta toward the northern parts of the county.

Janet Bailey / The Courier
Storm aftermath: A toppled grain bin west of Opheim

Large trees were reported down in Glasgow, St. Marie and Opheim. Reports of hail were reported in Fort Peck and in the northern parts of Valley County.

The highest official gust was recorded at 62 mph, and the wind held steady for about an hour. The weather service said there were reports of an 80 mph gust that moved from Opheim to Peerless, and a 73 mph gust was recorded near Fort Peck. Nashua reported an 80 mph hour gust around 5:21 p.m.

The weather service explained that a cold front and a thunderstorm moving in created the winds that lasted a little longer than expected. A watch was issued in the area around 3 p.m. to last through 5:30 p.m. It came through quickly.

One report in the law enforcement report this past weekend had a boat stranded out on the lake while the windstorm passed through. The occupants made their way to shore without any injuries.

The weather service reminds the public to check for warnings before heading out onto the lake, as a lake wind advisory was in effect that day.

Meanwhile, high winds and rain whipped through Opheim on Thursday evening and in just a few short moments dropping a good half inch of rain.

Wind was measured at 40-50 mph at the Pat Stein home near Glentana.Tree limbs and big branches were broken off all over town. A big cottonwood tree in the Gazebo Park on Main Street was uprooted and when it blew over it broke the top out of a wishing well and fell on a picnic table breaking it.

A 4,000 bushel hopper bottom grain bin was blown over just west of town. The grain had been augured out of the bin just a few days before and the auger was still under the hopper bottom. When it tipped, the auger bent in half over one of the props of the bin.

The bin, belonging to Kevin Nelson was one of the four bins. One on the south and two on the north were untouched. One and one half inches of rain fell in Opheim on Wednesday night.

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