GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A weekend tornado that caused damage in the Hillsboro area had wind speeds up to 140 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
The agency rated the Saturday evening tornado in Traill County an EF-3 on the enhanced Fujita scale. An EF2 or higher rating is considered significant.
The tornado was as wide as three football fields are long and was on the ground for 8 minutes, according to a weather service report. It smashed bins at Rahr Malting Co.’s Taft grain elevator complex and spilled tons of barley onto the ground, destroyed a garage and uprooted trees on one area farmstead. It heavily damaged a home and a metal building at another farmstead.
No one was hurt. The town of 1,600 people was lucky that the tornado missed the heart of the community, said Connor Ulness with the storm damage restoration company Aspen Exteriors.
“The tornado came in just north of the center of town,” he told WDAY-TV.
Severe storms in eastern North Dakota on Saturday spawned two weaker tornadoes in neighboring Grand Forks County, according to the weather service. One with wind speeds estimated at 70 mph and rated an EF-0 touched down in an open field near Arvilla. An EF-1 tornado with wind speeds up to 110 mph uprooted trees and demolished a barn in the Pleasant View Township area.
No injuries were reported in either of those tornadoes.