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Tornado in eastern Montana injures 1 person, causes damage (PHOT - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Tornado in eastern Montana injures 1 person, causes damage (PHOTOS)

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Damage from EF-1 tornado in eastern Montana (Photo: NWS) Damage from EF-1 tornado in eastern Montana (Photo: NWS)
GREAT FALLS -

The National Weather Service confirmed on Wednesday that a small tornado hit Richland County in eastern Montana on Tuesday, injuring an elderly man and causing some property damage.

The National Weather Service in Glasgow, along with Richland County Disaster & Emergency Services coordinator Debra Gilbert, conducted a damage survey on Wednesday of the property, which is located about 17 miles south-southeast of Sidney. 

Tanja Fransen, the acting meteorologist in charge of the NWS office in Glasgow, says that a supercell thunderstorm moved through the area between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30th.

There were reports in the Sidney area of hail up to two inches in diameter. 

The storm then spawned an EF-1 tornado near a pair of modular homes at about 5 p.m.

The home and its associated storage building (also a modular home) were lifted from the foundation. 

The home lost its metal frame and was thrown onto a storage shed about 60 feet away.

A 79-year old man was in the home with his dog on the property. The man sustained injuries and he was taken to a hospital. The nature and extent of his injuries has not been disclosed.

The dog was found trapped under rubble but is expected to be okay. 

At the time of the event, a Tornado Watch was in effect for the area through 1 am. A watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to occur.

Several Severe Thunderstorm Warnings had also been issued for eastern Richland County. 

The tornado occurred just south of the severe thunderstorm-warned area. 

Radar data at this location is about 13,600 feet off the ground and 118 miles away from the WSR-88D radar in Glasgow.

The radar indicated a broad area of rotation, but no specific data that supported a tornado. 

There were no spotter reports after the storm passed through Sidney, although several attempts were made to try and find people in that area. 

Smoke from Canadian fires was also causing problems for spotters, as they were not able to see features clearly earlier in the life cycle of the storm. 

The NWS says that an EF-1 tornado has winds of between 86 miles per hour and 110 mph. Based on the damage that was observed, the NWS estimated that winds for this tornado were about 100 mph.

Two mobile homes, which did not appear to have been strapped down, were overturned and one had the entire frame bent and twisted. 

While there were tree branches broken in the region, the most significant damage was isolated to the surveyed property. 

The tornado continued through rural area for about four miles to the south-southeast, and then went into North Dakota

No reported damage was reported in North Dakota, and the tornado dissipated southwest of Trotters.

(If you are reading this in the KRTV App, click here to see the photos)

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