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Windstorm brings damage

The storm Saturday evening, June 9, brought rain, hail, a power outage and devastating winds to Haakon County. Shown is what is left of a grain bin on the north side of Highway 14 across from the roping arena. More photos in this issue.

The storm that came through Haakon County, Saturday evening, June 9, affected everyone in some manner.
According to Susan Sanders, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service out of Rapid City, a cold front came through from the southwest. “There were a couple of different lines, and they produce stronger winds.”
At approximately 9:40 p.m. the electrical power went out. Joe Connot, director of member services for West Central Electric Cooperative, said that the reason was simply, “Eighty mile per hour winds.” Eight three-phase heavy construction power poles in the Kirley Road area were broken by the wind. They snapped at various points, but “most right at ground level.” The area involved a long rectangle from the truck stop east of Kadoka, west to Cactus Flat, and north to the Cheyenne River.
“We have a transmission feed out of Philip that feeds Philip and Kadoka. We had two wires wrapped together and that was the cause of the transmission outage,” said Connot. “We can operate – open and close – transmission lines here in Murdo, so we had Kadoka back on in minutes. Then we got the Philip substation on.” The power was on within about 45 minutes.
The weather station at the Philip Airport also lost power, so official weather information was not available from there. “We don’t have a lot of weather stations that measure wind, and they are far apart,” said Sanders. Eighty mile per hour winds could have been possible. “The west side of the Badlands had gusts of 65 mph, and Wall had near 60 mph. Closer to your area, and again the station in Cottonwood was not in the core of the storm, had 53 mph. It was likely all straight line winds,” said Sanders. “The biggest report to us of hail in your area are inch-sized hail southwest of Creighton.”
The storm tipped over semi-trucks and campers. It blew apart fences and livestock windbreaks. It blew in, and out, garage doors. Trees and branches were scattered throughout the area, causing streets and yards to be cleared. Out buildings, vehicles, house windows and crops in the country experienced mostly hail damage, though there was some wind damage. In the Milesville area, wind-driven hail caused bruising on livestock.