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Tornadoes touch down as storm rips through northeast ND, northwest Minnesota

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Motorists wait out a passing storm on ND Highway 15 east of Northwood Tuesday evening. Eric Hylden/Forum News Service2 / 4
A rainbow appears following a storm cell that passed east of Northwood Tuesday evening. Eric Hylden/ Forum News Service3 / 4
Lonnie Leake of Emerado, N.D., holds a piece of a broken light on the cab of his pickup east of Northwood after a storm moved through Tuesday evening. Eric Hylden/ Forum News Service4 / 4

GRAND FORKS—An early evening storm produced tornadoes and large hail but no widespread damage reports as it moved through eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota Tuesday.

A large multi-vortex tornado was spotted in the Mayville, N.D., area in Traill County where a storm with multiple funnels passed over the area about 7:25 p.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks. Another tornado touched down between Adams and Fairdale in Walsh County about 6:45 p.m. Funnel clouds were also spotted near Manvel, N.D., and Buxton, N.D.

A farm 6 miles west of Buxton reported a tornado that took out a barn, according to weather service meteorologist Brad Hopkins.

The weather service also received reports of downed trees, power outages and other damage around the Hillsboro area. The weather service had reports of 79 mph winds near Hillsboro, numerous uprooted trees and a shed destroyed near Halstad, Minn.

Most of the damage reported around Hillsboro was for trees uprooted and snapped and for shingles blown off of houses, Hopkins said.

Residents in Hillsboro were asked to limit water usage because lift stations were down.

"Traill sounds like they got the brunt of it," said Walsh County Emergency Manager Brent Nelson, on his way to check on heavy rainfall between Grafton and Minto, N.D.

The tornado reported between Park River and Adams in Walsh County did not yield any reports of serious damage.

"Most of it sounded like it was out in the middle of cropland," Nelson said. "I don't know of any homes or cities with any significant damage."

Large hail fell across the region, including golf ball-size hail near Larimore, N.D., three-quarter-inch hail near Cummings, N.D., and marble-size hail near Thompson, N.D.

The weather service issued warning and watch advisories for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms for a wide area from Pembina County in the north to the southern Red River Valley in late afternoon. The warnings continued into western Minnesota counties including Polk, Norman, Clay and Becker as the storm moved east after 8 p.m.

The weather service was sorting through reports of wind damage Tuesday night.

"I'm sure there's some straight line damage, but we don't know about it yet," Hopkins said.

Grand Forks received a quarter-inch of rain as the storm passed over the city, but was not hit hard by the weather.

Christopher Bjorke

Christopher Bjorke is the content editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He first worked for the Herald in 1997 and most recently since 2011. His jobs at the Herald have included covering local government, state politics, business and economics, and the health care industry. 

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