Severe weekend weather causes one death in SD

CANDO, N.D. -- Thunderstorms with high winds and hail-- and even a tornado -- continued to pop up in the region into Saturday night causing damage as unstable air covered the region.

CANDO, N.D. --  Thunderstorms with high winds and hail-- and even a tornado -- continued to pop up in the region into Saturday night causing damage as unstable air covered the region.

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks said a tornado touched down Saturday afternoon in northeast North Dakota about seven miles east of Cando around 4:10 p.m. There were no reports of serious damage.

Another storm that hit farther south near Cooperstown with almost ping-pong sized hail moved southeast and its estimated 60 mph winds knocked down a 50-foot tree near Morton -- just west of Wahpeton -- and was accompanied by large hail early Saturday night, said meteorologist Brad Hopkins of the weather service .

The severe storm warning for that area was canceled as the storm faded away, as did most of the others across the region, Hopkins said.

It has been a pattern of unsettled weather across the Dakotas and into Minnesota, said Hopkins, who had been glued to the radar most of the day and into the night watching the storms.


The storms were fatal on Friday night in South Dakota where two central South Dakota Indian reservations were hard hit.

Deb Attaki told KDLT-TV from Sioux Falls that her cousin, 61-year-old Wilfred Wind Sr., was sleeping on his couch in Fort Thompson on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation along the Missouri River when strong winds  estimated at 80 mph blew over his trailer home, killing him. In the neighboring Lower Brule Reservation the tribe’s casino, roof of the courthouse and other buildings were severely  damaged.

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety said a Red Cross shelter was set up in Fort Thompson at tribal administration offices for those who had homes damaged.

Storms also were severe in central and western North Dakota Friday night as power was knocked out for a time in south Dickinson and in Bismarck 80 mph winds caused a lot of damage.

Bismarck police officers were out Saturday assessing damage and informing the Bismarck Forestry Department and Montana-Dakota Utilities of downed trees and power lines, Sgt. Noah Lindelow said.

Lindelow said the forestry department cleared all emergency response routes of debris Friday night and spent Saturday afternoon clearing debris from secondary roads.

"There was so much damage and it was so widespread, I have no idea how many roads are blocked," Lindelow said.

In some cases, fallen trees plowed through roofs and walls and winds ripped off roofs and shingles, blew out windows and tore apart decks on homes in Bismarck. The storm knocked down the U.S. Department of Agriculture WIC building at 2400 E. Broadway Ave.


While police responded to calls, utility crews worked to restore power to the 10,000 people who lost it during the storm. By 5:30 p.m. Saturday, MDU reported 575 residents remained without power.

Spokesperson Tim Rasmussen said the company hopes to have the lights back on at all homes by late Sunday. Twenty-eight crew members were working Saturday, with some coming from as far away as Mobridge, S.D., and Dickinson.

"This rates high on our list of infrastructure damage," Rasmussen said. "At least in recent memory, it's the worst storm event we've witnessed."

The Bismarck Tribune contributed to this report

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