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High winds brought down a large branch at a West Fargo residence, shattering a glass table and bending its frame. Jamie Grant / West Fargo Pioneer

Intense storm wreaks havoc

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Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

A Memorial Day storm walloped the area Monday night bringing with it heavy rains and winds clocked at up to 70 miles per hour.

Tornado warnings had been posted for the region when the storm blasted in around 9 p.m. with tornado sirens quickly blaring accompanied by calls for people to seek shelter.

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Damage in West Fargo resulted in a couple of street closures in the early morning hours of Tuesday, including the underpass at Center Street, north of Main Avenue, closed due to high water. A lift station went out and was unable to pump out the water with a car stalled in the underpass. The underpass was expected to reopen Tuesday morning.

The other road closure was Ninth Street between First Avenue and Fourth Avenue East, caused by a downed high voltage power line that crews were waiting for Xcel Energy come in and do the repair.

Several intersections were also without stoplights, including Main Avenue and Ninth Street East, Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street East, Thirteenth Avenue and Seventeenth Street East, Thirteenth Avenue and Fourteenth Street East, and Thirteenth Avenue and Sixth Street East.

Portable four-way stop signs were placed at these intersections until the power was restored.

Signal lights were also knocked down or out of adjustment at I-94 and Sheyenne Street and along Veterans Boulevard cross arms broke off.

The high winds also toppled numerous trees, many blocking roadways. West Fargo street and fire crews worked to clear the branches and trees.

The winds also took its toll on any yard furniture or items caught in its direct path, quickly breaking, rearranging or blowing away items not firmly anchored.

There was also damage to railraod cross arm signals that had been broken off, an occurrence pretty much all over the metro area.

Some minor damage also occurred to buildings hit by falling branches or trees, shingles were detached or damaged, and in some instances, like reports in Reiles Acres, roofs were blown off.

Power was lao out to several Xcel Energy customers. As of Tuesday morning 20,000 homes were still without power in West Fargo and Fargo with crews working as quickly as possible to restore the service.

South Elementary School was among the power outage casualties, with school in session Tuesday morning operating with half power.

The one piece of good news was that no people injuries were reported.

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