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Wind storm sweeps Philip area

This tree at the Philip Masonic Cemetery that did not fare the storm well.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 26, a sudden wind storm swept through Haakon County. The wind blew dust and dirt so fiercely that many people initially thought it was a rain downpour being blown almost horizontally. The area lost electrical power for about half an hour. The brunt of the wind hit ranch buildings on M&A Farms a mile and a half north of Philip, taking off a roof and scattering materials eastward. Harlan Moos said, “Those bulk bins just stood there, and it took out the roof and the south wall (of the big outbuilding). It scattered big bale piles, took some out of the middle row and didn’t even break the string on them. It came so fast. It was interesting for a while, you couldn’t see 20 feet out of the window.” Much of the debris shown above had already been piled from the surrounding fields. Right is a tree at the Philip Masonic Cemetery that did not fare the storm well. According to Susan Sanders of the National Weather Service in Rapid City, “A cold front with very strong winds moved through western South Dakota on the evening of March 26. These winds were caused by a strong barometric pressure difference and weren't straight-line thunderstorm downdraft winds or a tornado; we had no indications of either on the Doppler radar. The weather station at the Philip Airport measured a gust of 61 miles per hour at 7:46 p.m.