Powerful storm causes one death, widespread damage

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By Reed Anfinson


Around 6 p.m. Thursday, the Swift County Sheriff’s Office sent out a warning on cellphones and landlines for the possibility of winds approaching 100 mph accompanying the fast-moving storm. 

Shortly after that call, a ominous rapidly moving shelf cloud approached Swift County from the southwest. It was estimated that the storm was moving at nearly 80 mph, giving little time to prepare before it struck.

At 6:35, the storm swept into Benson with a powerful blast of wind and heavy rain.  After a few flickers, the power went out in Benson. Benson wasn’t alone. Communities throughout the area lost power as powerlines were snapped across several counties.

What the exact wind gusts were in Benson last Thursday aren’t known because the storm almost immediately knocked out the National Weather Service’s recording station at the Benson airport. However, it is estimated, based on the damage in the area, that winds were well in excess of 80 mph.


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