Weather Forecast


City gets more than 2 inches of rain

David Luessen / The Sun Leaked motor oil and leftover rain water mix to create a mosiac in an alley Thursday in northwest Jamestown.

Jamestown received 2.44 inches of rain in four hours late Wednesday and early Thursday when a line of storms moved through Stutsman County.

As of 11:56 p.m. Wednesday, 2.22 inches of rain had been recorded at the Jamestown Regional Airport rain gauge, which set a new rainfall record for June 18, according to National Weather Service records. The previous rainfall record for June 18 was 2.01 inches in 1964.

By 1 a.m. Thursday, another 0.2 inch of rain had fallen.

Bob Martin, manager at Pipestem Dam, said the office at Pipestem Dam measured 2.62 inches of rain from Wednesday into Thursday. The rain increased the elevation at Pipestem Reservoir 7 inches, while the Jamestown Reservoir elevation increased about 3 inches.

Martin said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased water releases from Jamestown Reservoir Thursday from 100 cubic feet per second to 150 cubic feet per second. The Pipestem Reservoir release rate stayed at 215 cfs.

“The rain added some water, but nothing big,” Martin said.

Stutsman County Emergency Manager Jerry Bergquist said how the rain fell did impact the James River. He said the river rose 2 1/2 feet Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, as measured on the river gauge located where the river crosses under Interstate 94.

The National Weather Service in Bismarck issued a tornado warning around 9:20 p.m. for north central Stutsman County and southwest Foster County, which expired at 9:45 p.m.

Todd Hamilton, NWS meteorologist, said no tornadoes were reported in Stutsman County.

“There was a possible tornado in McIntosh County, near Ashley, and there were strong winds and damage reported near Lake Isabelle in Kidder County,” he said.

Hamilton said the NWS had sent staff to the Ashley and Lake Isabel areas to survey the damage and determine whether it was caused by a tornado or strong winds.

“We had winds gusting at 60 to 70 mph in the Ashley area and there were reports of funnel clouds there as well,” he said.

McIntosh County Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Toman said a tornado did touch down southwest of Ashley, and a barn did lose its roof. Toman said he didn’t know if the barn losing its roof was due to the tornado or the strong winds that accompanied the storm.

A call for comment from the Kidder County Sheriff’s Department was referred to Kidder County Emergency Manager Jim Albright, who could not be reached.

The 2.44 inches recorded at Jamestown Regional Airport brought the total rainfall for June to 4.43 inches. Hamilton said this amount is 2.56 inches above the normal amount of rainfall in June for Jamestown.

Since Jan. 1 through Wednesday, 12.87 inches of rain has been recorded at the airport. The normal average for Jamestown by this time of year is 7.42 inches.

“Jamestown has received almost 5 1/2 inches of rain more than what it normally gets by this time of year. That is unusual,” Hamilton said.

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said there was a report of a funnel cloud spotted about 7 miles west of Pingree.

“We didn’t have anyone in the area at the time, so we couldn’t confirm the funnel cloud,” he said.

Kaiser said based on reports from deputies there wasn’t any damage to roads in the county from the storm.

“I didn’t hear of any washouts, or trees down, nothing like that,” he said.

Hamilton said the stormy conditions were created Wednesday afternoon when a strong upper-level low-pressure system from out of the west collided with a large area of moisture that moved from the Gulf Coast into the Northern Plains.

“When the upper-level low moved into northern Montana, that was enough to initiate a strong convection over South Dakota and into North Dakota last (Wednesday) night,” he said.

Jamestown Police Department Lt. Robert Opp said there was rain, but no damage done to streets or trees in Jamestown during the storm Wednesday.

Joe Neis, Edgeley city auditor, said there wasn’t any wind damage in the Edgeley area, but the city did receive about 2 1/2 inches of rain.

“We had some streets covered in water when the rain was coming down hard but not a lot of wind,” he said.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454