No serious damage reported in region after storms subside; rainfall reaches 6.8 inches in Cavalier

High winds blow through Gilby, but possible tornado wasn't confirmed.

Gilby tree
A large tree branch fell during a storm in Gilby, N.D. Friday night. (Sydney Mook/Grand Forks Herald)

Excessive rains Friday night and Saturday morning flooded fields, filled ditches and raised stream levels across northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, but little physical damage was reported in the region after the storms subsided.

From 0.12 inches to 6.8 inches fell during that period, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks said.

Bemidji, Minn., which reported 0.12 inches, had the least amount of rain in the region, while 6.8 inches in Cavalier, N.D., was the highest official amount recorded. Other rainfall amounts included 4.9 inches in Roseau, Minn.; 3.48 inches in Baudette, Minn.; 3.13 inches in Thief River Falls, Minn.; and 4 inches in McVille, N.D., the NWS office in Grand Forks said.

There were unofficial reports of as much as 7 inches in some parts of southern Grand Forks County. Fields in the area are saturated with standing water.

Damage appeared minimal in Gilby, N.D., where high winds and a potential โ€” yet unconfirmed โ€” tornado were reported Friday evening. A few tree branches and some torn shingles strewn across the road seemed to be the extent of damage when a Herald reporter drove through the area Saturday morning.


There were no reports of extensive property damage in Traill, Walsh, Cavalier and Pembina counties in North Dakota. Nor were there reports of damage in Polk, Marshall, Pennington and Roseau counties in Minnesota, law enforcement dispatchers in those counties said.

The storms brewed throughout the day as temperatures in eastern North Dakota Friday afternoon reached past the mid-80s. After suppertime, the hot and humid weather began spawning storms that began south and west of Fargo and rolled northward. A number of high school football games in the region were affected, with some being cut short and expected to be finished in the coming days and others being moved to earlier Friday to accommodate what was expected to be a stormy night.

A photo submitted by a WDAY viewer in Barrie, N.D., about 25 miles southwest of Fargo showed golfball-sized hail placed next to coins for size comparison. Another viewer-submitted photo showed snapped trees on a farm near Blabon, N.D., about 50 miles northwest of Fargo. One of the trees fell on top of a grain bin, denting its roof.

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings in areas to the west and north of Fargo as the storm rapidly moved north through the valley through the night. No tornado touchdowns were confirmed.

As the storm moved north, the Weather Service issued further warnings for areas across northern North Dakota and Minnesota, including Grand Forks and the Minnesota cities of East Grand Forks, Crookston, Roseau and Thief River Falls.

Some areas received heavy rain, prompting flash flood warnings in Grand Forks County, western Polk County and the area around Roseau, Minn.

In Hillsboro, N.D., residents were asked to limit water use until storm sewers caught up with a surge of water from the storm.

Herald reporters Ann Bailey and Sydney Mook, along with reporters from Forum News Service, contributed to this report.

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