Tornado, flooding, heavy rains hit Montana

Posted at 2:38 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 18:13:01-04

It was a wild Thursday across the state for severe weather, especially in central and eastern Montana.

Powerful storms rolled through parts of the Treasure State — including a tornado that touched down north of Harlowton.

Garfield County Disaster and Emergency Services reported the tornado struck just a little after 6 p.m. We don’t know if any damage has been caused at this time. Traffic was stopped for a time while the storm moved through the area.

Tornado warnings were also issued for areas around Lewistown including Fergus, Chouteau, and Blaine counties.

Severe weather also swept through Great Falls Thursday evening as heavy rains caused flash flooding which impacted driving conditions in town.

Near Roundup (Courtesy: Storm Chaser John Ojeda)

Strong winds and quarter-sized hail were reported at the Great Falls airport, but it was torrential rain that made the biggest impact, leaving some streets impassible.

A scary situation unfolded for nearly 40 people at Little Rockies Christian Camp near Landusky in Phillips County.

It was the first night of camp for second and third grade students and staff said they started getting alerts while eating dinner. Leaders decided to move everyone to the cellar where they passed the time and tried to keep calm.

“We sang songs, told a Bible story. There were a few tears, but overall the kids were champs and we have a story to tell now,” Amy McClenahan said.

She added they spent about an hour in the cellar. Their reception and wi-fi was spotty, but she tried to keep parents and friends in the loop through social media.

A video shot in Clancy south of Helena showed a storm hit around 2 p.m.

That same system struck Helena a short time later packing lightning, and heavy rain, but no hail.

Heavy rain, thunder, lightning and even hail dumped on residents in the northern Bitterroot Valley as a storm rolled through Lolo and into Missoula on Thursday evening.

Even in Northwest Montana, some passing storms knocked down trees, which left hundreds of people in the dark in the Kalispell area on Thursday afternoon.