About 8,000 customers of Otter Tail Power Co. lost electric service about 5 p.m. Monday as a strong storm passed through the area, according to Sarah Casey, communications specialist for the power company.

"Most were restored by 8 p.m.," she said. "The last customers were restored by 3 a.m. (Tuesday)."

Otter Tail repair crews dealt with about 20 different locations where power lines were downed by trees or where there were broken utility poles.

"They had to rebuild a distribution line," Casey said. "That's what took until 3 a.m."

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The downed trees and broken poles were caused by a severe thunderstorm that moved through the area late in the afternoon, according to Jeanine Vining, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

"Wind was the prime factor especially in Jamestown," she said.

The storm had formed earlier in the day in western North Dakota where hail and wind were reported. By the time it reached Jamestown, winds of 85 mph were reported at Jamestown Regional Airport.

"All straight-line winds," Vining said. "The brunt of the wind was in the area of Sheridan, Kidder, Stutsman and Barnes counties."

The storm also dropped 1.04 inches of rain in Jamestown, according to measurements taken at the North Dakota State Hospital. Detailed weather statistics were not available from the Jamestown Regional Airport due to the power outage at the time of the storm.

Travelers on Interstate 94 felt a more immediate effect of the storm, according to Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.

Bergquist said three accidents were reported as wind related including a semi blown over west of Jamestown and a pickup and camper blown over near the Jamestown Regional Medical Center exit. No injuries were reported although the highway was closed while debris was cleared.

Downed trees also posed a problem for Jamestown residents with commercial tree services and homeowners cutting up trees and branches to clear debris.

Roger Mayhew, sanitation foreman for the city of Jamestown, said residents are asked to sort the branches by size. Branches of up to 8 to 12 inches in diameter can be piled outside the gate at the baling facility. Larger branches and tree trunks are piled separately near the scales at the baling facility.

There is no charge to bring branches of any size to the baler although they need to be sorted, Mayhew said.

Bergquist said the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center operated on its emergency backup generators for about three hours during and after the storm.

The generators kept the communications center operational while it took 911 calls from residents "one after another," Bergquist said.

"As long as there were power problems we got calls," he said. "We were inundated by people calling saying they had no power."

Bergquist said they had no information from Otter Tail Power regarding when electrical service would be restored.

"We have no magic wand when it comes to utility companies," he said.

There were also at least nine calls to 911 reporting fires.

"Eight city fire calls related to power poles and sparking lines," Bergquist said.

The Jamestown Rural Fire Department responded to a lightning strike on a residence at Buchanan, according to Rick Woehl, assistant chief of the department.

The home had smoke in the utility room and damage to some of the steel siding, he said.