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Some areas of eastern ND, western MN swamped with overnight rainfall

Rain collects on a window. Forum News Service file photo

GRAND FORKS — Several small towns in northern Cass County, N.D., and Norman County, Minn., were soaked by heavy rains Tuesday night into early Wednesday as a series of thunderstorms followed the same track, a National Weather Service spokesman said Wednesday morning, Sept. 20.

The heaviest rainfall totals in North Dakota were in the Grandin area, with 7.57 inches recorded by weather service observers there, meteorologist Al Voelker said. Argusville had 6.43 inches recorded and the Gardner area got 6.1 inches. In Minnesota, Halstad had 5.54 inches and Ada 6.5 inches.

"There are quite a few reports in and around that area of 5 to 7 inches," Voelker said about 10 a.m. Wednesday, adding that the weather service was still gathering reports.

Voelker said there were heavy rains from Barnes County northeast through Cass County in North Dakota and into Norman County, Minn.

Another swath of thunderstorms dropped 2 to 3 inches of rain in the Detroit Lakes area and Minnesota's lakes country, Voelker said.

Much of the rain came from a very large thunderstorm, with more storms following in its track, he said.

"The heavier rain hit the same area twice," Voelker said.

More rain could be on the way for the region, he said. The weather service expects another chance of thunderstorms Friday night as another front moves through the area.

"We're still in that time of year where we can get pretty warm and pretty unstable. It still isn't over for us to get these warm, humid days" that can lead to big storms, Voelker said. "The potential is there for some severe storms, so we're watching it."

Weather service storm reports say a thunderstorm with winds of 50-60 mph dropped quarter-sized hail on the Litchville area about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. A barn was also damaged by tree limbs and a home had its shingles ripped away.

About 5:45 p.m., strong winds and pea-sized hail were reported in Buffalo, N.D., while 1-inch hail was reported in Esmond about 6:55 p.m.

Gusts of 61 to 63 mph were reported between 8:59 and 9:30 p.m. in Fosston, Hallock and Donaldson, Minn., the weather service reported, with a tree falling on a car in Lancaster, Minn., about 9:35 p.m.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including education, Fargo city government, business and military affairs. He is currently The Forum's K-12 education reporter.

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