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Residents lose power as wind whips over Fargo-Moorhead

Gusty wind knocked down trees, slamming them onto power lines throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area Sunday night. Trees also blocked some streets. The downed electrical lines left 3,180 Xcel Energy customers without power in Fargo for about 1 1/2 hours.

Gusty wind knocked down trees, slamming them onto power lines throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area Sunday night.

Trees also blocked some streets.

The downed electrical lines left 3,180 Xcel Energy customers without power in Fargo for about 1½ hours. Most of the outage was in the area extending from Main Avenue to Interstate 94 between University Drive and 25th Street South.

Repair crews had power restored by about 9 p.m.

Moorhead officials said outages were scattered throughout the city.

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Emergency officials sounded warning sirens in Fargo and West Fargo after a weather observer spotted rotation in the clouds over Fargo shortly before 7:30 p.m. The rotation did not turn into a funnel cloud, though.

The temperature dropped 20 degrees, from the mid-80s to the mid-60s, in minutes as the thunderstorm passed through the area.

The wind reached gusts of 52 mph at Fargo's Hector International Airport and 38 mph in Moorhead during the peak of the storm, according to the National Weather Service.

In Davenport, N.D., about 20 miles southwest of Fargo, the wind reached speeds of 65 mph. Argusville, N.D., about 12 miles northwest of Fargo, had 60 mph gusts.

Earlier in the day, a North Dakota Highway Patrol officer spotted a tornado four miles north of Medina, or 30 miles west of Jamestown, about 4:15 p.m.

A member of the public also reported seeing a tornado five miles north of Medina about 4 p.m.

The weather service said one of the tornadoes touched down, destroying a farmstead and some farm buildings about three miles north of Medina. No one was injured.

The weather service also received several reports of hail in eastern North Dakota. They included pea-sized hail lasting five minutes about 3:40 p.m. five miles northwest of Linton in Emmons County; 1-inch hail five miles northeast of Medina about 3:45 p.m.; 1-inch hail six miles north of Cleveland in central Stutsman County about 4:20 p.m.; .88-inch hail in Napoleon in Logan County about the same time; and dime-sized hail three miles west of McHenry in Foster County about 4:45 p.m.

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The storms also produced heavy rainfall ranging from up to 5 inches in Stutsman County to between a half-inch and an inch in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Much of eastern North Dakota was under a severe thunderstorm watch Sunday afternoon. The weather service upgraded that to a severe thunderstorm warning for a half-dozen counties as thunderstorms developed and pushed their way through the region.

The weather service then issued a severe thunderstorm watch and for west-central and northwestern Minnesota as the storms moved eastward.

The line of thunderstorms produced some funnel clouds as it moved eastward, but none of the clouds turned into tornadoes, the weather service said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ellen Crawford at (701) 241-5523

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