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The Morton County Cloudburst


On this date in 1927, residents of central North Dakota were recovering from severe summer weather. The previous night, Mandan and surrounding areas were subjected to harsh winds, rain, and hail that wreaked havoc on the land and its farmers. The Fargo Forum ran an article detailing this devastating storm.

Across Morton County, crops suffered from 25 to 100 percent damage. The storm destroyed farm equipment, ripped fruit from tree branches, broke windows, and even knocked over small buildings. A train station agent’s telephone was found on the railroad tracks, about 150 yards from its original place inside. In addition, creeks flooded roads and farmland.

The storm not only resulted in crop and property losses, but it also caused injury. Three boys had been playing baseball, but the rain made them find shelter in a railroad bunkhouse. While the boys were sitting around a table, a bolt of lighting struck, and all three were knocked unconscious. One of the boys suffered a severe burn on his arm.

To the east, it was a day of record-breaking heat. In Fargo-Moorhead, hundreds of people went to the city parks to escape intense heat indoors.

Dakota Datebook written by Hayley Burdett

Fargo Forum. “Hail, Rain, Wind Do Much Damage in Slope Region.” 20 June 1927.