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Thursday night storm drops 5 inches of rain near Howard

HOWARD -- Up to five inches of rain and softball sized hail were reported near Howard as a result of a Thursday night storm that blanketed the region.

A lightning bolt Friday over Lake Mitchell. (Luke Hagen/Republic)
A lightning bolt Friday over Lake Mitchell. (Luke Hagen/Republic)

HOWARD - Up to five inches of rain and softball sized hail were reported near Howard as a result of a Thursday night storm that blanketed the region.

According to Cora Schwader, dispatch manager at the Miner County Sheriff's Office, residents about three miles south of Howard reported the greatest rainfall totals, while Howard received pea-sized hail and two inches of rain.

Canova reported 3.5 inches of rain, Schwader said.

The storm seemed to "hover" over Howard and eventually intensified, Schwader said, bringing strong wind gusts, leading the city of Howard to activate storm sirens around 8:30 p.m.

A storm chaser had called the sheriff's office at 8 p.m. to report a funnel cloud northeast of Canova. The funnel never descended and eventually dissipated, but the winds were strong enough to lead city officials to activate sirens - the first time the sirens were activated in 2016.

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"If it looks like threatening weather - could cause injury to people or property and is traveling in a direct path toward a populated area - we'll blow the sirens," Schwader said.

An uprooted apple tree on Main Street in Howard was the only damage reported to the sheriff's office.

A downpour of rain hit Mitchell between 10 p.m. and midnight, flooding city streets and dropping 1.11 inches of rain in the two-hour span.

Early Friday morning, another six-hundredths of an inch fell in Mitchell to bring the total amount in the 24-hour span to 1.17 inches, as reported at the Mitchell Municipal Airport according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, while an official report in the city showed a total of 1.4 inches.

The NWS reported ping-pong size hail near Spencer Thursday night, and official rain reports across the region averaged between 1 and 3 inches.

Matthew Dux, meteorologist with the NWS, said it is possible some areas received more rain because the radar showed "pockets of heavy precipitation" in areas between Mitchell and Salem, but the NWS does not receive official totals from that area.

During the storm, a strong gust of wind blew over a pickup pulling a camper and boat on I-90, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol. A 2004 Dodge Ram truck pulled off of the road near the Spencer exit due to limited visibility and strong winds. While stopped, a strong gust of wind blew the pickup and camper onto its side, while the boat remained upright. The driver and passenger were both wearing seat belts and were uninjured.

Other responding agencies were the McCook County Sheriff's Office, McCook County Emergency Management and McCook County Rescue.

Related Topics: WEATHERHOWARD
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