Ashley Recovers from Spring Storm - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Ashley Recovers from Spring Storm

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The National Weather Service was in Ashley today to investigate reports of tornadic activity. Some people living outside of Ashley saw significant damage to some of their property as a result of yesterday's storm. But until this afternoon, the National Weather Service was unsure if the damage was the result of a tornado.

This tornado was spotted two to three miles southwest of Ashley.

"I had noticed a funnel cloud come down south of Ashley, and I was going to take a picture of it. By the time I had my camera up and ready to take a picture, it went back up. And that's when the second one came down, and it appeared to be a tornado that had touched the ground," says Sheriff Laurie Spitzer.

The tornado only touched down in a field for about a minute, and it left no damage. But Spitzer says after it lifted, you could see rotation above Ashley. And then, the wind direction shifted on a ranch seven miles northeast of town.

"The winds and the rain, when it started, were coming from the east. All of a sudden, it switched and turned completely west, and when that happened, I believe it took the roof off of the barn, and the calf shelter was actually flipped right across the fences and went to the other side," says rancher Rod Eszlinger.

The debris also hit two power lines. It didn't take long for the National Weather Service to determine a tornado was not responsible for this damage.

"The damage is all blown in a similar direction toward the northeast. There's no debris back behind, upwind so to speak, of where the wind came from. If it were a tornado, a tornado is spinning, and it throws debris behind itself. In other words, where it came from. We don't see that in this case," says John Martin a warning coordination meteorologist.

Eszlinger says regardless of what caused the damage, he's thankful it wasn't worse.

The damage to Eszlinger's ranch was caused by straight line winds of at least 80 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service conducts these surveys to determine if the right decisions were made by issuing severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings and  if there is anything the NWS can learn from the experience.

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