Thursday, July 05, 2018

South Dakota tractor taken by tornado found in Montana

Doug Davis finally found his tractor that had been swooped up by a tornado from his ranch in northwest South Dakota. Sort of. “The tractor is mostly scattered in Montana,” he told the Capital Journal on Monday night. The tornado came from the southwest on Thursday night, June 28, one of many that twisted their ways across Carter County, Montana, and Harding County, South Dakota. “It was like someone threw the gate open and they just came running out,” said Kathy Glines, emergency manager for Harding County. “There were at least five twisters.” The National Weather Service office in Rapid City reported that four tornadoes hit Carter County and four were spotted in Harding County. The one that hit Davis’ ranch was rated an EF-3 with peak winds estimated at 136 mph, traveling 3.6 miles wreaking havoc across a path 900 yards wide, according to the weather service. That’s not even close to how big the tornado must have been, Davis said. “What can lift a 10,000-pound tractor and carry it over a mile-and-a-half?”He examined where the tractor had been standing when the tornado hit. “It was in crested wheat grass, about 14 inches high. The wheat was straight up, not bent. (The tractor) went straight up, didn’t bend down the crested wheat grass. The tractor was gone. I could see a mile and a half in every direction and could not see it.” Most of the tractor is spread over three-quarters of a mile, he said. “All the big pieces are in Montana. All that is intact is the engine and a busted half of the transmission on the rear end. The duals are gone, the front axle is gone. We found two tires and three rims off the rear wheels. It skipped for over a quarter mile after it hit. It snapped the housing off the rear axles. I had cast-iron weights on the duals and they flew another quarter mile from the engine and transmission. I have found parts as far as three miles away.”...MORE

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