Area storms cause power outages, minor damage
Weekend storms brought a mixture of rain, hail and downed power lines but little major damage to the area, according to various experts and authorities.
Friday's weather caused power outages in several area communities. Tom Glanzer, company spokesman for Northwestern Energy, said the company had about 30 power lines down, causing about 4,600 customers to lose power around 2:30 p.m. Friday. Woonsocket and Alpena were among the approximately 10 communities that lost power during the outage. Glanzer said some power was restored that day, while some took between 18 to 24 hours to restore.
Glanzer said there were a few additional power outages late Saturday into early Sunday west of Mitchell and north of White Lake, but power was restored by Sunday.
Matt Bormann, chief deputy for McCook County Sheriff's Office, said the communities of Salem, Canistota and Bridgewater also suffered power outages around 9 p.m. Friday, but he was unsure if it was related to the storm. He estimated the outages lasted about 45 minutes.
Jeff Chapman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Saturday's storm was a wide-reaching system that stretched from eastern Wyoming nearly to the Interstate 90 corridor of South Dakota.
Chapman said there were reports of high winds and wind damage in the Winner and Chamberlain areas, and said the highest recorded wind gust was from Chamberlain at 67 mph. Authorities in Brule and Tripp counties, however, said they received rain and a few branches blown down but no major damage.
Mitchell's average wind speed for Saturday was 47 mph, with the highest recorded wind gust reaching 58 mph around 12:30 a.m. There was also a 58 mph wind gust recorded by White Lake, and a 63 mph wind gust in Kimball on Saturday.
North of Plankinton received heavy rains, according to Chapman, and the National Weather Service issued flash flood advisories for Aurora and Davison counties late Saturday and early Sunday. But authorities in Aurora and Davison counties said they had received no reports of flooding or damage from the storm, other than a few tree branches knocked loose by the wind.
"If it doesn't directly impact people, it's hard to find those reports," Chapman said.
Mitchell weather observer Gary Lambert said the city received 89 hundredths of an inch of rain on Saturday, and trace amounts on Friday. Lambert measures precipitation manually, while the National Weather Service gets its readings from an automated system at the airport outside Mitchell.
Chapman said there was no hail reported in Mitchell, but other parts of the state reported various sizes of hail and flash floods.