Stutsman County man forced out of home after tree collapses on roof

Jamie Bertsch of Montpelier, N.D., a town 20 miles south of Jamestown, is looking for a temporary home to stay in for at least a week.

Tree branches fell on Jamie Bertsch of Montpelier, N.D.'s roof, causing this huge hole. Tanner Robinson / WDAY

MONTPELIER, N.D. — Jamie Bertsch spent much of Tuesday afternoon, June 8, outside his house, as gusty, straight-line winds knocked branches off a tree, causing a hole in the middle of his roof.

"It kind of put a tear in my eye when I saw it," Bertsch said. "(I'm) 20 years old, and I'm seeing my house pretty much wrecked."

Along with his roof, much of Bertsch's siding is also torn, and what's left of his roof is in danger of caving in, with his rafters bending down every time he walks on them.

Bertsch said he was in shock when he saw his and his neighbors' trees on the ground in less than 24 hours.


"In a town like this, you wouldn't think wind would whip trees like that," he said, "but it did."

Downed trees were among many after-effects of a storm Monday, June 7. Norman Bell / WDAY

Winds weren't the only issue in and around town, as many fields in Stutsman County are under several inches of water.

Andrew Kirking, the county's emergency manager, said the flash floods both help and hurt farmers, since these last few months have been mostly dry in the county.

"(The rain) was too much, too quick," he said. "When things dry out, the soil isn't able to absorb the moisture fast enough."

Kirking said his crews were busy Monday night pushing out 12 thunderstorm warnings, two tornado warnings and three flood advisories to not only his county, but 5 surrounding counties, as well.


Jamie Bertsch of Montpelier, N.D., moves around wood on his roof after a storm caused damage to it. Norman Bell / WDAY

As people continue the clean-up process, Bertsch said he's thankful he lives in a community that helps each other out during times like these and that no one was hurt during the storm.

"We can just come together, (and we) don't even need to ask for anything," he said. "We just do it because we're neighbors."

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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