Storm rips through northeastern Montana (photos)

Posted at 8:27 AM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 10:27:19-04

GREAT FALLS – Some powerful thunderstorms rocked parts of northeastern Montana on Monday evening.

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning, and we have received several reports of at least one funnel cloud in or around the town of Plentywood. A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado is indicated by radar or sighted by spotters.

The Tornado Warning included the communities of Plentywood, Antelope, Outlook, Coalridge, and Dagmar.

At about 9:15 p.m, the National Weather Service in Glasgow said: "We have not verified a tornado at this time. Macroburst wind damage is the most we have been able to determine so far. That can often be much worse than a tornado."

The NWS said on Tuesday morning that it is sending a team to the area to survey the damage.

Montana-Dakota Utilities (MONDAK) said that more than 1,100 customers in the region were without power, including the communities of Froid, Homestead, Medicine Lake, Reserve, Antelope, Flaxville, Redstone, Plentywood, and Culbertson.

There are no reports of injuries at this time.

We will update you as we get more information.

Montana typically sees several tornadoes every year at this time, particularly in the eastern part of the state. Unlike those in "Tornado Alley" in the central part of the country, most Montana tornadoes are relatively small and usually touch down in sparsely-populated areas – but not always.

Last year, a small tornado hit near Sidney in Richland County in eastern Montana, injuring one person and causing damage. In June 2010, a tornado hit Billings, causing significant damage to the MetraPark facility. Just several weeks later, two people were killed when a tornado struck a family ranch near Reserve in northeastern Montana.

Click here for a list of Montana tornadoes recorded between 1950 and 2012. 

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