Severed branches and split or uprooted trees, common debris following summer storms, could be spotted Thursday, July 9 on streets in Wahpeton and Breckenridge, Minnesota.
The Twin Towns Area spent its midweek surveying damages, cleaning up and preparing for what might come next.
“My arms are tired,” Katrina Bajumpaa said midday Thursday.
Bajumpaa and Curt Holtz were working for Wahpeton Parks and Recreation, clearing the area along R.J. Hughes Drive.
“We’ve been working for two straight days,” Holtz said.
While Bajumpaa dragged long branches to Holtz, he used a chainsaw to break them down.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for the Twin Towns Area on two consecutive evenings, in the predawn hours of Wednesday, July 8 and Thursday. In addition to heavy rainfall and lightning, the storms included damaged trees and power outages.
Thunderstorms and rainstorms are forecast to recur beginning this weekend.
As of Friday, July 10, weather.com forecast a 80 percent chance for a.m. thunderstorms Saturday, July 11.
“Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1 a.m.,” stated the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, North Dakota. “The chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New rainfall amounts (will total) less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts are possible in thunderstorms.”
Winds could gust as high as 22 miles per hour Saturday, NWS continued. Gusts are not forecast for Sunday, July 12, but are expected to return Monday, July 13.
While weather.com forecasts an 80 percent chance for p.m. thunderstorms Monday, July 13, NWS is less certain.
“There is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1 p.m. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent,” NWS stated.
NWS forecasts a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Monday evening, followed by a 30 percent chance throughout Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 15. Beginning Wednesday evening, the forecast likelihood decreases to 20 percent.
Rainstorm conditions are forecast by weather.com to return between Sunday, July 19 and Monday, July 20. As of Friday, there is a 30 percent chance of a.m. showers that Sunday, followed by a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms that Monday.
The Wednesday, July 8 storm came hours after a tornado touched down in Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
“The tornado was believed to be in the EF-3 range,” the Fergus Falls Daily Journal reported.
Several properties southeast of Dalton, Minnesota were damaged, the Journal reported. Damages included a home and machine shed being swept off their foundations and blown away.
While two people were transported to hospitals and released with minor injuries, there has been at least one fatality as a direct result of the tornado.
“The Red Cross is on standby to assist impacted families and the county damage assessment teams will begin to assess the damage (Thursday) morning,” Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons stated. “The National Weather Service has been on-site and is assisting with the assessment.”
Whether in the Twin Towns Area or surrounding communities, residents are advised to practice safety during potential storm and flooding situations.
“Turn around, don’t drown,” NWS previously stated. “Don’t travel through flooded areas. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”