RUSSELL — Daylight turned into darkness for Russell residents as a massive storm swept from the northwest cutting power to the community.
As the storm swept through Russell, rainfall amounted to 1.61 inches, according to Russell City Manager Jon Quinday.
“Our power outage was caused by a lightning strike with the outage lasting approximately 30 minutes,” he said. “ We had some localized flooding, but no other reported damage so far.”
Quinday also noted radar showed a rain cell over Pfiefer, where the city’s water wells are located.
“That is always good news,” he said.
While damage details will surface this morning as people get out, there’s already reports of crop damage and roof and other hail damage across the area.
There was “significant window damage to the high school and a church in Almena, as well as a patrol vehicle, due to ping pong-size to orange-size hail,” according to a report from the Norton County emergency management office. The hail came in the second round of the storm sweeping through the area.
Hail pushed along by 50-mph winds also damaged a roof and destroyed cars east of Speed in Phillips County.
Quarter- to half dollar-size hail — 1 to 1.25 inches in diameter — was reported in Logan, Woodston, Stockton and Plainville, according to a report from the National Weather Service office in Hastings.
Woodston farmer Jerry McReynolds saw the damage firsthand this morning, as he checked fields.
Rainfall amounted to 1.1 inches, but the hail damaged crops and screens on the north side of his house. McReynolds said he was concerned the hail was going to start breaking windows in the house.
The hail, he said, was the size of quarters and larger.
“It was pretty good chunks,” he said. “It just damaged a lot of milo.”
It also caused considerable damage to what had been a good-looking field of sorghum,
It’s the milo, however, that will tell how much damage there is.
He’s estimating some fields will lose half the potential they had.
“The wind was severe,” McReynolds said. “It was just awful.”
He’s just thankful for the rain.
“We did get a nice rain,” McReynolds said. “But it was probably about the most expensive rain as you could get.”