A system of strong storms rolled through Thayer County Monday evening dropping up to 1.5 to 1.75 inches of rain and packing an estimated 80-100 m.p.h. straight-line winds. “I have a large pin oak tree in my yard,” said Thayer County emergency manager Bill McPherson, “and it was snapped off 20 feet above the ground during the storm.”
Areas had already received anywhere from a quarter to nearly a half-inch of rain early Monday morning.
Monday evening wind downed large tree branches and flipped pivots near Alexandria. “Windows were broken at the Miller farm near Carleton and tin was ripped from outbuildings,” McPherson said. “They also lost the harvest door on a grain bin and a grain dryer blew over at Cargill.”
While a tornado was reported three miles south of Davenport traveling east at 40 m.p.h., McPherson said he was unaware of a confirmed tornado anywhere in the county. The Village of Davenport experienced a power outage after a transformer was damaged, but restoration was quick. Small hail was also reported in different areas.
Spotters were called out for all Thayer County communities by 8:05 p.m., when the leading edge of the storm showed rotation in the clouds accompanied by the constant rumble of hail. The county was put into a tornado warning until 8:15 p.m. after a funnel cloud was spotted near Davenport.
Also at that time, spotters reported a possible funnel cloud five miles east of Belvidere and at 8:20 p.m., another was spotted one mile west of Alexandria. A few minutes later, Thayer County Law Enforcement advised volunteer fire departments that another front was moving in as the storm began to back-build over Superior.
At 8:57, Chester spotters were called out again as the new line began its trek over Byron, Chester and Hubbell. Although Dopplar Radar showed defined rotation in the clouds, no funnel clouds or tornadoes were reported from the ground as it made its way across the county.
The National Weather Service is predicting a likelihood of strong storms to hit in the evening hours all week long.