By Shiloh Appel
An early morning thunderstorm brought rain, strong winds, power outages and property damage to Spink County on Thursday, August 26th. Doland received the brunt of the damage with approximately 70mph winds, heavy rainfall, numerous uprooted trees, damaged buildings and a power outage that lasted from early Thursday morning to 4p.m. that afternoon. Redfield received 51 mile per hour winds, a brief power outage, and .70 inch of rain. Other towns in Spink County did not report extensive damage.
In Doland Thursday afternoon, Mel Williamson looked out over the damage in his yard and the surrounding properties as neighbors got to work clearing fallen trees. A large tree lay across a corner of his yard with the roots exposed. Branches were strewn everywhere. The buzzing sound of chainsaws filled the air.
However, Williamson’s American flag, hanging on by a thread, waved in the wind. His Marine Corps flag waved just below it.
“The winds had to be at least eighty or ninety miles an hour,” said Williamson. “But Old Glory is still hanging on. And the Marine Corps stood strong. Nobody was hurt.”
Williamson, who opted to watch the storm as it happened Thursday morning, seemed to take a positive outlook on all of the events of the day, even after discovering that his storage shed’s roof had been torn off and crumpled into a ball of metal.
Other residents in Doland also seemed to be in good spirits as neighbors all came together to help each other with the cleanup process.