Severe thunderstorm hits Dickinson County

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
PHOTO BY WILL MUSGROVE Boji Bark, a dog day camp and boarding kennel in Milford, had its tin roof ripped off by high wind from a severe thunderstorm Thursday, May 26. Despite the damage, the company said it is still open for business.

A few Dickinson County residents and business owners woke up to fallen trees and structural damage on Thursday.

A severe thunderstorm that produced winds around 60 miles per hour and large chunks of hail struck the Lakes Area in the early morning hours of May 26, causing a multitude of damage reports in the area.

Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret said the storm's impact was felt across the county.

"It was pretty widespread," Ehret said. "There were twigs and branches down, and in some cases some larger branches and some trees."

Ehret said several trees were uprooted, including one that collapsed onto a power line in Terril. Saturated ground from the season's previous heavy rains made it easier for high winds to knock trees over.

Boji Bark, a dog day camp and boarding kennel in Milford, had its roof peeled back by the strong winds. Winds pushed in two large overhead doors and damaged two more at Dave Kuker Trucking in Spirit Lake.

Clean-up crews were deployed across the county following the storm.

"Each city was out picking up branches the better part of the morning," Ehret said. "I know there are couple of roads signs in Spirit Lake and one in the county I know that needs to be repaired. I don't know what the dollar amount for that is going to be."

Ehret sent information gathered about the storm to the National Weather Service to help measure the effectiveness of the organization's warning system.

"If it was a more large scale event, like a tornado or really serious high wind event, then we do a little more in depth damage assessment to homes, businesses or whatever is affected. The really large events have the potential for a state and federal declaration."

Ehret encourages people to stay informed about possible severe weather events. He recommended Lakes residents and people visiting the area to join the Dickinson County Alert program, which sends weather alerts through text messages and email. To enroll in the program, go to dcem.us.

The Lakes Area was again hit with inclement weather this past weekend. However, Ehret said there was no reported damage from the new round of storms.

"This weekend was pretty much your run-of-the-mill thundershowers," Ehret said. "I haven't been made aware of any damage. It was just a little rain and thunder and lighting."

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