Great Falls residents clean up after Sunday’s severe thunderstorm

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 18:29:25-04

GREAT FALLS – Residents are cleaning up after a severe thunderstorm ripped through town Sunday evening.

“It was here and gone before you knew it,” Lonnie Hanson said.

Hanson has lived in Great Falls for 40 years and says she’s never seen a storm like that. A tree in her yard fell, taking out her fence and hitting her house.

“I haven’t seen any storms that come whipping through as bad as that was,” Hanson said.

The storm brought heavy rain, nickel-sized hail, numerous power outages and extensive damage to homes and vehicles.

“I can’t even estimate. We’ve got some shingles on the roof that are damaged. I haven’t even checked the siding. Our fence is all busted. I don’t even know how much damage. It’s really going to be a lot I think,” Hanson said.

Winds were reportedly up to at least 60 mph.

“I was on the porch and the wind was so loud I didn’t hear that crash until it already hit the house and was down,” Hanson said.

A crew with AJ’s Tree & Landscape Service spent several hours removing a tree that fell on a home.

Trees also took down power lines in Great Falls. NorthWestern Energy posted to their Facebook page:

NorthWestern Energy crews continue clean up and repairs from the damage caused by the strong storms in northcentral Montana Sunday. Thank you to all who reported damage. There were about 30 calls reporting power lines down in the Great Falls area, which crews prioritize for public safety. The storms also caused widespread power outages throughout the area. Thank you for your patience, as customer service representatives handled larger than normal call volumes. Extra staff members were called in, but wait times were still extended due to the volume of inquiries regarding outage situations. Thank you to all who assisted in keeping the community safe during this weather event.

Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News