© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

July 9: Ramsey County Storm of 1969

Ways To Subscribe

On this date in 1969, as many North Dakotans were sound asleep, a severe storm ripped through Ramsey county. Approximately six miles wide and nine miles long, the storm’s path of damage started in the Webster area and moved southeast. Hailstones the size of hens eggs ripped through farms, with damage to buildings, equipment, and crops.

George Dimmier’s crop was a total loss, and the windows of his house were smashed, causing the family to flee their home in the middle of the night. Other farmers, including Henry Rutten, Anna Keller, and R. C. Hanson reported varying amounts of crop losses and heavy damage. Folks got to work cleaning up the next morning, and crop adjusters arrived to survey the damage. As the storm raged, Walhalla, Drayton, and parts of Grand Forks county were also affected.

With the storm hitting at the height of the growing season, the North Dakota Employment Service raised the alarm on how the rain was delaying farm work. While there were plenty of workers available, storms and rain kept delaying progress.

Despite the rain and hail, crops were still doing well in many locations. County Agent Wayne Owens reported that the rain had replenished topsoil moisture and only slightly slowed haying operations. Ramsey County crops had heavy stands and good coloring. In the Red River Valley excessive rain caused flooding, but some farmers found the rain a boon for their small grain crops.

Summers in North Dakota always bring wind and rainstorms that can create havoc, and this was just one of the many storms that hit in 1969, including a tornado in Medina. Luckily, with the help of crop adjusters, George Dimmier, and others were able to get support and recoup losses.

Dakota Datebook by Ashley Thronson


  • “Hail, Windstorm Hit County Crops”. Devils Lake Daily Journal, July 10, 1962.
  • “Rains Are Delaying State Farming Activity”. Devils Lake Daily Journal, July 10, 1962.
  • “State Crop Outlook Remains Favorable”. Devils Lake Daily Journal, July 10, 1962.
  • “Reports County Crops Look Good” Devils Lake Daily Journal, July 10, 1962.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Related Content