It was May 16, 1996. And it was not a fun time to be in North Dakota.
It was on this day 20 years ago that a bow echo swept across southern parts of North Dakota. Let's take some time to recall what happened.
The storm began in Montana and flooding was so bad, that FEMA had to be called to our western neighbors in order to provide aid.
At about 3:10 in the afternoon, hail began to fall in Mcintosh county.
At 9pm, grain bins in Adams County were knocked down and it was estimated that there was $25,000 in damage to property and $5,000 in damage to crops.
About 30 minutes later, a 40 foot by 56 foot pole barn was knocked down and debris was carried over half a mile away. Trees were knocked down and power was lost in most of the eastern part of Adams county. An additional $15,000 in property damage and $5,000 in crop damage was estimated.
At 10:15pm the storm began take the shape of a bow echo and entered Grant County. At this point wind speeds reached around 70mph. Power lines and trees went down in Elgin. There was an estimated $50,000 in property damage.
Five minutes later winds forced a car to spin out and it broke out all of the windows. At this same moment, a farmer in Heil, North Dakota reported wind speeds of 126mph by his wind recording equipment before that equipment ultimately got destroyed by the storm.
Additionally around the same time, also in Grant County, a 400 gallon gasoline tank tipped over and 350 gallons of gasoline spilled. The roof of a grain elevator was ripped off. Nearly every power pole had damage. Power would not be restored until the middle of the afternoon the next day.
In Grant County there was an estimated $1.5 Million in damage to property and about $40,000 in damage to crops.
In Sioux County which experienced the storm next, there was a total of $900,000 in property damage and $5,000 in crop damage. Four mobile homes were completely destroyed with a couple of others receiving damage. Power poles were completely snapped off.
Morton County was the next victim just prior to 11pm. There was $1.3 Million in property damage and $10,000 in crop damage. Boats at the dry dock in the Marina Bay in Mandan were turned over. Buildings in southern Mandan suffered lots of damage. About 400 homes in Mandan were without power.
Emmons county suffered $50,000 in property damage soon after.
Just after 11pm, the storm reached Burleigh County and Bismarck where a small plane tipped over at the airport. Meanwhile part of the roof at the terminal was ripped off. There was significant damage to trees, buildings and road signs. About 3,000 people in Bismarck lost power. Bismarck suffered $3.2 million in property damage.
Shortly thereafter in Kiddy County, the city of Steele had damage to 3 homes due to trees falling on top of them. At least 2 mobile homes were destroyed. Grain bins were knocked over and a garage collapsed.
At this point, near midnight, things began to slow down as the storm was reduced to just hail and eventually passed on.
Twenty years later we are experiencing sunshine with highs in the mid 60s. Winds are a calm 5-10mph.