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The National Weather Service Office out of Grand Forks, North Dakota and Beltrami County Emergency Management conducted a damage assessment on the afternoon of July 4th, 2018 following damaging severe weather that impacted southern Beltrami County in the early morning hours on the 4th of July.

A concentrated area of damage was identified across Bemidji west of Bemidji State University. The hardest hit area was across the central part of the City of Bemidji along 18th Street NW from Delton Ave NW to Bemidji Ave N and was approximately 200 yards wide. Numerous trees and power lines were knocked down. Several garages and lighter construction building sustained damage along with shingle damage to residential roofs. Reviewing the damage it has been determined that a tornado rated at EF1 with winds of 90-100MPH impacted the area. There was additional damage observed to the west/southwest of Bemidji that was likely the result of strong straight-line winds. A retired Sheriff's Deputy reported seeing a funnel cloud just west of Bemidji moments before the damage reports started to be received by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office 911 Center.

The tornado was associated with a large complex of thunderstorms that were moving across northern Minnesota in the early morning hours of July 4th. While there were no active severe weather warnings for Beltrami County at the time, the National Weather Service did have the area under a "Significant Weather Advisory" as anticipated impacts were below severe weather criteria. The tornado developed very quickly and there was little to no time for warning. Outdoor warning sirens and CodeRED were not utilized as the storm impacts had expired before activation could take place. The tornado hit at approximately 6:30AM.

There were no injuries as a result of these storms.

This was the fourth significant severe weather incident to impact Beltrami County in the last six days. Beltrami County remains in a State of Emergency due to impacts from severe weather last week where winds of 80-100MPH did significant damage in the central and northeastern part of the county.

The National Weather Service will be releasing additional information on this weather event.

-Christopher Muller

Emergency Management Director


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