Baseball-Size Hail, 90 MPH Winds Hit West River

Jun 8, 2020

Hail in Spearfish from Thursday's storms.
Credit Alex Miller / Via National Weather Service

Western South Dakotans are recovering from repeat bouts of extremely severe weather. 

Storm reports include 3-inch-diameter hail, and wind speeds above 90 miles per hour. 

The storms started Thursday. Greg Richards of the National Weather Service said hailstorms followed Interstate 90 around the Black Hills from Spearfish to Rapid City. 

“With some of this bigger stuff tennis-ball to baseball-sized, that not only causes a lot of damage, but that can be deadly if someone gets caught out in that,” Richards said. 

Richards said damage included broken windows on vehicles and buildings. Vehicles were dented and building roofs were damaged. The hail broke skylights at Sam’s Club in Rapid City and made a wet mess in the store. 

And Richards said that was just Round 1. Saturday, a windstorm swept through the area.  

“Just about everybody across western South Dakota experienced high winds,” Richards said. 

The highest wind speed was recorded near Belle Fourche, at 94 miles per hour. Numerous other wind speeds above 70 and 80 miles per hour were reported throughout the region. Two short-lived tornadoes were spotted in rural areas. 

The Weather Service received reports of some people injured when their campers or vehicles blew over. Some semitrucks were blown off the road. 

Richards said the front that produced the weather has shifted to the southeast, where it could produce severe weather in eastern South Dakota. Then the next several days look quieter.