Rain quenches crops, but may have provided too much moisture

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - Heavy precipitation gave crops and gardens a hearty drink Tuesday and Wednesday, but for parts of the region, rain totals for those two days neared what the area receives in a month.

Ypsilanti, N.D., damage
Dwight Hendrickson stands before the damage on his family's property south of Ypsilanti, N.D. Rains and high winds toppled a holding bin, grain auger and a box elder tree, crushing the vehicle beneath it. (John M. Steiner / The Sun)

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - Heavy precipitation gave crops and gardens a hearty drink Tuesday and Wednesday, but for parts of the region, rain totals for those two days neared what the area receives in a month.

Jamestown received about 2.26 inches of rain between about 3 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. Wednesday. Jamestown's average precipitation total for July is 2.97 inches, according to Todd Hamilton, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

Nearby, Montpelier, N.D., measured 2.33 inches throughout Tuesday and Wednesday and unofficial totals in Ypsilanti, N.D., neared 5 inches.

Winds and rains damaged fields and property throughout the region. Sections of corn and wheat crops lay flat Wednesday, lodged from the recent storms.

Most crops were faring well and even above average up until this week, said Lance Brower, extension agent for the North Dakota State University Extension Service in Stutsman County. Recent damage isn't likely to be significant, he said.


Wheat, barley and oats are more mature this time of year and may not recover but other crops may pull through, Brower said.

"The corn has a good chance of coming right back up," he said.

Most farmers needed rain -- this area hadn't received any in July and was 1.33 inches below normal in June, the NWS said. But the area may have received too much of a good thing.

"We needed some rain, we just didn't need it all at once," Brower said.

At the Dwight and Janet Hendrickson residence just south of Ypsilanti, rainfall and wind are blamed for a toppled calf-shelter roof, holding bin and box elder tree which fell upon a tenant's Chevrolet Blazer. The home just up the road where the Hendricksons live received relatively no damage.

"We stood in the window and watched the whole thing and it was just windy and rainy," Janet said.

But at the home just south where Dwight grew up and now rents out, two boys and their mother took to the basement for shelter. A neighbor driving by later alerted the Hendricksons of the damage.

Five-year-old Braden Partlow was visiting from Fargo with his brother, Zack, 7. The brothers agreed they couldn't hear much while in the basement, not even the tree falling over, but the experience scared them.


"I started crying," Braden said.

But it wasn't long before the storm lifted.

"And after that we had fun playing in the mud puddles," Zack said.

Insurance hadn't had a chance to inspect the property, and Dwight said he was unsure of the damage's value. He'd likely need to replace the wiring to a grain dryer, headlights on a tractor, the roof on the $2,000 calf shelter and the Hendricksons said they wanted to help somehow with the cost of the tenant's vehicle. The damage didn't seem to overwhelm Dwight, who said no one was injured in the storm.

"It could have been worse," said his son, Ryan Hendrickson.

Like the Hendricksons, residences in LaMoure County reported damage to branches, trees, grain bins, pole barns and downed some power lines, said Sheri Gartner, emergency manager. The LaMoure County Memorial Park is closed until further notice while staff work on repairs and remove debris.

Tuesday's storms caused a power outage in parts of Jamestown until late afternoon. In other parts of the region like Gackle, Edgeley and Hankinson, outages were reported as early as 3 a.m. and by 9 a.m. had not been restored, according to Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative. Power had been restored in most areas by Wednesday afternoon, but all areas should expect power by today, the co-op said.

No rain is expected in the Jamestown area for the remainder of the week, NWS said. And while some precipitation may fall this weekend, rainfall totals likely won't measure up to Tuesday and Wednesday's. NWS is predicting a slight chance of thunderstorms for Friday night and a chance of thunderstorms Saturday.


The Jamestown Sun and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

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