Strong winds along with heavy bouts of rain and wind danced through West Fargo and the surrounding area, Friday, Aug. 14.

The heavy rains and flooding in the historic Bonanzaville Pioneer Village in West Fargo caused the postponement of their annual Pioneer Day celebration to Sept. 5.

"The preservation of our historic buildings is of our utmost concern," said executive director Beth Jansen.

Winds possibly as high as 90 mph in an area just south of the city knocked down 14 wooden power poles, although it wasn't quite as strong in other areas.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Greg Gust said that it usually takes winds that high to knock over a power pole. The official top wind speed in Fargo during the mid-morning storm was 61 mph at the North Dakota State University campus, he said.

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The winds were also felt in areas across the region. The West Central Ag Services elevator in Felton, Minn., about 27 miles northeast of Moorhead, sustained damage to bins from the high winds.

The West Central Ag Services elevator in Felton, Minn., sustained damage from the high winds from passing storms on Friday, August 14. David Samson / The Forum
The West Central Ag Services elevator in Felton, Minn., sustained damage from the high winds from passing storms on Friday, August 14. David Samson / The Forum

Trees were also reported down Friday in south Moorhead, Gust said, and followed on the heels of another storm Thursday night that had similar winds with a top speed of 63 mph reported at Rothsay, about 30 miles southeast of Moorhead.

Power outages were reported across the Red River Valley after the storm roared through.

A storm approaching West Fargo about 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14. W. Scott Olsen / Special to The Forum
A storm approaching West Fargo about 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14. W. Scott Olsen / Special to The Forum

Heavy rainfall also accompanied the storm, with Fargo police advising drivers about underpass flooding and signal lights out at some intersections.

As of mid-afternoon Friday, Gust said there had been about 2 inches of rain in Fargo, but there were almost 3 inches in Sabin just to the southwest of Moorhead.

The highest rain totals in the region in the past 24 hours were in the town of Ottertail, on the east side of the Minnesota lake of the same name, with 4.72 inches. Another high report was 4.1 inches near Hillsboro in eastern North Dakota, Gust said.

Motorist drive through rainfall along Main Avenue in West Fargo on August 14, 2020. David Samson / The Forum
Motorist drive through rainfall along Main Avenue in West Fargo on August 14, 2020. David Samson / The Forum



Recycling and garbage cans lay along 1st Street in West Fargo from the high winds and rain on August 14, 2020.
David Samson / The Forum
Recycling and garbage cans lay along 1st Street in West Fargo from the high winds and rain on August 14, 2020. David Samson / The Forum

Rain continued to fall late Friday afternoon but only about a quarter to half-inch more was expected across the region as the system had moved eastward.

Gust called the light rain Friday afternoon "backwash," and expects the weather to improve dramatically this weekend.

"It's going to be beautiful," he said. The weather service expects highs in the 70s and lows at night in the 50s with plenty of sunshine.

It's expected to remain dry at least through mid-week.