WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 31, 2011, 08:55 AM

Storm knocks out power, downs trees, damages several buildings and vehicles

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The storm knocked out power to thousands in the metro and crews worked through the night to restore it. Xcel Energy says 26-thousand customers in Fargo and West Fargo lost power as the thunderstorms and high winds moved through.

In Moorhead, the city lost power for several minutes last night. Moorhead Public Service crews were working to restore power to several dozen residents who still remained without and Cass County Electric is also working to restore power. Major outages were reported in the Harwood and Horace areas with about 15-hundred people losing power.

The storm ravaged two apartment buildings in the Osgood area, leaving more than 8 people without homes.

What looks like snow on the ground, is chunks of insulation scattered in the parking lot of Osgood Town site. Shingles, nails, and chunks of wood, all parts of a large portion of the roof of the building that was ripped off.

Dan Nachtigall: "Holy cow, I mean there's stuff everywhere."

Dan Naghtigall was in his apartment at the time of the storm. His door that leads inside the building, shattered.

Dan Nachtigall: "This was just banging back and fourth repeatedly, this door."

At least 7 apartment units had water gushing in as it continued to rain after the winds died down.

Dan Nachtigall: "Kind of waiting to see if the rain, how much this rains going to come in to the apartment."

Insulation plastered the outside wall of one apartment.

Kenny Montonye: "I mean I didn't really know anything was happening till I heard the sirens and by that time it was almost too late."

Dean Meyer: "When it hit, it hit hard. And it sure wasn't pretty."

Now all that’s left of that ugly mess here in Osgood is debris and empty apartments.

Some video from Moorhead shows just how strong the winds were during the height of the storm last night. Check out this video.

A woman was driving this car when a tree limb broke, crashing through her windshield while she was still inside! The limb was just inches from her. The force was enough to deploy the airbags.

It happened near Concordia College last night. Witnesses say the woman went to a friend's home before authorities caught up with her, urging her to get medical attention. She wasn't hurt, but a woman who heard the tree break ran to help.

TRACEY SERGEANT – Eyewitness: “My heart dropped. I worked for a nurse for 5 years and I was prepared for it, but still to come upon it is amazing.”

Crews in Fargo and Moorhead continue to respond to limbs and trees down on power lines and streets. Power Crews were out thru the night trying to clean up the mess the storm left behind all over the metro.

Moorhead Electric was called to the city's south side at 4th Street and 4th Avenue. Fallen tree limbs had taken out power lines along the street.

Crews used chain saws to cut some of the larger branches. Power remained out for a large section of the metro because of the all the downed lines. Moorhead firefighters also responded to the Moorhead High Rise during the storm.

Residents heard hissing coming from a damaged gas line. Before Xcel could get on scene, Moorhead Firefighters helped get some out of their apartments and outside. No one was injured and Xcel was able get the line shut down, allowing residents to get back into their places.

GREG DOEDEN - MOORHEAD ASST. FIRE CHIEF: “Gas line runs on the west side and had gas free flowing from the building.”

Several other Moorhead Fire Crews responded to down power lines thru the night. Strong winds knocked down power lines during the height of the storm all over the metro.

This was on south university drive in Fargo. A power line fell onto a car right behind the Taco Shop. No word on if anyone was injured or in that vehicle at the time.

All over the metro, tree branches and large limbs are littering the streets. This big tree went down on 8th Street South near 15th Avenue.

In Walcott, North Dakota, Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht says the storm destroyed one farm in the area. More damage is also being reported along with downed trees.