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Hail, wind, rain blast region

CHAMBERLAIN -- A powerful storm blasted the region Wednesday and caused flooding, crop damage and power outages. Up to half-dollar-sized hail and heavy rain poured through Lyman and Brule counties near Chamberlain in yet another late-June storm t...

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Lightning cracks the early morning sky as a thunderstorm rolls through the Mitchell Area on Wednesday morning. (Matt Gade / Republic)

CHAMBERLAIN - A powerful storm blasted the region Wednesday and caused flooding, crop damage and power outages.

Up to half-dollar-sized hail and heavy rain poured through Lyman and Brule counties near Chamberlain in yet another late-June storm that smacked a portion of South Dakota with more water.

"In a nutshell, we've had too much rain," said Tim Masters, technician for the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

Portions of Lyman and Brule counties received so much hail on Wednesday morning that it looked like a snowstorm rolled through the region. Most of the hail was pea- to quarter-sized, said Chamberlain City Engineer Greg Powell. He said the hail took out some leaves and tree branches, which in turned plugged up storm sewer grates to cause flooding.

At Barger Park in Chamberlain, the hailstones mashed together and formed blocks about 18 inches thick and up to 10 feet long.

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"It's a little unusual to see a block of ice sitting in the middle of a green grass park," Powell said.

Brule County Emergency Manager Katheryn Benton said areas in Chamberlain lost power due to 65 to 70 mph winds causing problems with power lines. She said the hospital in Chamberlain was running on generator power. A spokesman for NorthWestern Energy said about 1,200 customers in Chamberlain and Kimball were without power for four hours, but everything was back to normal by 12:30 p.m.

Lyman County Sheriff Steve Manger said a billboard along Interstate 90 was damaged, but he was more concerned for farmers in the region.

"Guys will be out assessing crops and checking fields, and I'm going to guess some farmers will be feeling the crunch from that," he said.

Mitchell residents woke up to lightning and thunder cracks early Wednesday morning. National Weather Service reported 0.36 inches of rain in Mitchell. That brings the yearly precipitation total to 8.67 inches, compared to 7.77 inches through June 27 of last year.

Despite the quick storms that rolled through Wednesday, Chamberlain and Mitchell seem to have less problems than areas further southeast in the state. Marion has received 8.57 inches of rain from June 20-27; Bridgewater 4.47 inches and Mitchell 2.05 inches.

Portions of the James, Vermillion, Big Sioux and Little Sioux rivers are all under flood warnings.

Officials are reminding motorists frequently to avoid driving or walking through flood waters.

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Following a storm in Chamberlain on Wednesday morning, Barger Park is covered ice blocks from in hail. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)
Following a storm in Chamberlain on Wednesday morning, Barger Park is covered ice blocks from in hail. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)

Related Topics: CHAMBERLAIN
Luke Hagen was promoted to editor of the Mitchell Republic in 2014. He has worked for the newspaper since 2008 and has covered sports, outdoors, education, features and breaking news. He can be reached at lhagen@mitchellrepublic.com.
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