FARGO — Tornado warnings and funnel cloud spottings scared residents across southern Cass County and other parts of the Red River Valley into lakes country in Minnesota around dinnertime Tuesday night, July 9, but there were no early reports of serious damage.
Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner said there were outdoor warning sirens in Kindred but his deputies reported later Tuesday night that there were no reports of damage.
Kindred Mayor Jason DuBord echoed those comments and said they were thankful there was no damage, "only standing water."
Farther east in Cass County, a funnel cloud was also reported 4 miles north of Oxbow south of Fargo, but once again it apparently didn't touch down. That storm moved across the Red River into Minnesota, and a storm chaser for the National Weather Service reported a touchdown about 8 miles south of Moorhead at about 6 p.m.
At about the same time, in a different thunderstorm cell farther south, funnel clouds and tornadoes were spotted near the Wahpeton-Breckenridge area. Greg Gust, meteorologist for the NWS in Grand Forks, said there were touchdowns of tornadoes reported about 7 miles southwest of Wahpeton at 5:30 p.m. It then moved northeast and another touchdown was reported about 2 miles north of Breckenridge at 6:03 p.m., he said.
WDAY meteorologist Summer Schnellbach said the tornadoes there likely only touched down in fields as there were no initial reports of damage.
The storms moved northeast out of southeast North Dakota and also caused tornado warnings to be issued for Sabin, just south of Moorhead, where outdoor sirens also blared, and then into lakes country, where sirens went off in Hawley, Glyndon and Hitterdal shortly afterward.
Rainfall was again a problem, with this storm causing an areal flood warning, similar to flash flooding, for Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead and other parts of east-central Cass County and west-central Clay County. That expired at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.
The storm delivered another downpour after Monday night's drenching. Rainfall in the Eagle Run neighborhood in western West Fargo measured 2.5 inches in just an hour, flooding backyards and basements.
The rain Monday night and into early Tuesday measured about 2.25 inches at Hector International Airport in Fargo. Gust said another almost half-inch was reported during the rest of the day Tuesday, for a total of 2.61 inches at the airport as of about 8 p.m. However, farther south there was that West Fargo Eagle Run report of 2.5 inches late Tuesday, and Gust said there were also reports of 2 to 2.5 inches near Wild Rice and Oxbow south of Fargo about the same time.
"We had a lot of reports of 2 inches to 3 inches of rain in the Fargo-Moorhead area" in the initial thunderstorms on Monday night into Tuesday, said Gust. Although the airport only had about a half-inch later Tuesday afternoon, Gust said it wouldn't be out of the question that another 1 inch or more fell perhaps only 1 mile away.
Schnellbach said more rain was expected on and off through midday Wednesday in the F-M area, but she believed the severe threats were over.
"It should be clearing off later in the afternoon" on Wednesday, she said.