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Fierce Thunderstorms Pummel Portions Of Palo Alto County

May 31, 2018
By Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

In a year that's seen extremes in weather, Mother Nature once again unleashed its fury on portionso of Palo Alto County Tuesday evening. A fast-moving thunderstorm complex brought winds in excess of 50 miles an hour, torrential rainfall and reported sightings of funnel clouds.

A strong thunderstorm had passed through the area last Thursday evening, causing tree and property damaage at locations north of the Cylinder area, but no injuries were repored in that round of weather.

Tuesday evening, dark clouds bergan building around 5 p.m., fueled by high humidity and temperatures near 90 degrees.

Article Photos

TREE?DAMAGE - A pair of strong thunderstorms in the past few days caused damage to several trees and structures in the Cylinder area. This tree at Chuck and Deb Hite’s residence north of Cylinder was severely damaged in a storm last Thursday night. -- Karmen Gappa photo

Around 6 p.m., the storm struck the Emmetsburg and Cylinder areas. In Emmetsburg, the high school baseball and softball teams were hosting West Bend-Mallard when the storm hit, prompting officisals to clear both dimonds and call the games for the safety of players and spectators alike.

The torrential rain was blown sideways at times, and the sheer volume of rain caused some minor street flooding for a short period of time in the city.

Rural gravel roads also sustained some minor flooding north and northeast of Five Island Lake, and Palo Alto County Secondary Road crews were busy Wednesday morning grading and hauling gravel to affected areas.

In Cylinder, many residents were dealing with minor basement flooding from the heavy rainfall, as well as numerous downed tree limbs.

Randy Schuller suffered damage to a garage at his home when a large tree toppled onto the structure during the storm, but no injuries were reported.

Unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds southeast of Emmetsburg and Cylinder were made follwoing the storm, but no apparent damage was noted.

Rainfall totals varied during the storm, from an inch and a half in Emmetsburg to just over two inches near Cylinder.



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