National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


On June 9, 2001, severe thunderstorms with an incredible amount of hail caused significant damage to homes and vehicles across the Bismarck and Mandan areas. Estimated damage from the hail in the two cities amounted to around $260 million.

An approaching upper level storm system provided lift to produce severe thunderstorms over much of central North Dakota that Saturday afternoon and evening. Abundant low level moisture combined with relatively cool air aloft led to the formation of a substantial amount of hail with many of these storms. What was especially unusual is that there were 3 rounds of storms that moved through, 30 to 40 miles apart from each other. Many overpasses in the city were flooded from heavy rain and the large amount of hail. 

The largest hail reported was baseball size (2.75") in Mandan, with golf ball size hail (1.75") in Bismarck. Additionally, very heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in Bismarck where a foot or more of water covered some roads. Up to 12 feet of water accumulated in the railroad underpasses in town, with large amounts of hail contributing to blocked roads. Large hail also fell over Hettinger, Dunn, Oliver, Stark, McIntosh, and Kidder counties. Six miles southeast of Menoken on a farm, golf ball size hail lasted 30 minues, injured a large number of livestock, and smashed out vehicle windows.

Numerous reports of funnel clouds accompanied the storms in Bismarck, and one confirmed F1 tornado touched down 9 miles northwest of Hazelton in Emmons county. A vehicle on highway 83 was thrown into a ditch, injuring the driver.

In addition to the rain, hail, and funnel clouds, widespread wind damage was reported across the area. A roof was lifted off a home in Oliver county, and multiple grain bins were destroyed in Emmons county along with numerous barns and farm homes in rural areas. An estimated 87 mph gust occured in Napoleon, where a roof was blown off a business, and mature trees uprooted.

A payloader clears the river of ice from the Seventh Street underpass (Bismarck Tribune)
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