Philip area hit with back-to-back storms
Wed, 06/15/2022 - 2:23pm admin
Area faced with extensive power outages
A storm moved into the Philip area on Saturday evening, June 11th, shortly after the conclusion of the Philip Match Bronc Ride. This storm picked up steam and eventually turned a five-mile radius around Philip, upside down. Some of the more drastic tornado like activity was large grain bins flying, houses losing windows from hail and wind, and rooftops completely gone from businesses and houses. Power was restored in Philip early Sunday morning and to some outlying areas Sunday afternoon but was lost at about 8:00 p.m. Sunday evening as a second storm hit the area.
The area was buzzing with activity early Sunday morning, as “people helping people” was in effect. A large number of trees were uprooted and split, with some heavy branches hitting parked vehicles in the vicinity. Hail stones were piled up like snowbanks in and around the city of Philip. Vehicle windows were also knocked out by large hail. The Masonic Cemetery in Philip had many damaged trees and several headstones were blown over.Sunday’s ‘clean up’ was aided by the fact that people in town had electricity, but that was not the case on Monday morning after the second round of storms hit. Power was lost in the whole area at around 8:00 p.m. Sunday evening.
Monday, businesses in Philip were faced with additional clean up without the aid of electricity. There was water damage and more roof damage. Generators, where available, were buzzing. Some businesses operated as best they could with others being forced to be closed. Sunday evening’s storm brought on more rain with reports of over four inches. Some businesses received flood damage and a number or tornadoes were reported around Philip, with one about 7 miles north of town and others in the Midland and Belvidere areas.
Philip Volunteer Fire Dept. Assistant Fire Chief Roger Williams said their crew confirmed tornadoes, during this storm, but Susan Sanders of the National Weather Service said their system showed only straight-line winds. “Some of the ranchers have videos of a few tornadoes, to confirm it as well,” noted Williams.
As the area pulls themselves together through this ordeal, one of the biggest problems is generators. “Many have generators,” said Williams, “but they have not used them for so long and are having problems with them. We have been working on a number of them trying to get the bugs worked out and get them useful.” Williams suggests using them once or twice a year whether you need them or not, and then they will be ready when a storm of this magnitude hits again.
West Central Electric got power to the Philip area later Monday evening, but it was lost during the night as the third storm in three days hit the area. As of Tuesday morning, power was out in the City of Philip and the Kadoka area. “We had just enough time to print our advertiser, The Profit, Monday evening,” said Beau Ravellette of Ravellette Publications. “We will be able to mail it out by regular mail service on Tuesday. This storm looks to have set us back a day with our publications.” With no electricity, the production team at the Pioneer Review has moved to the Wall newspaper office to complete this week’s newspaper. “If we can get power back into our printing facility in Philip by late Tuesday or early Wednesday, we will be able to print and mail our five community newspapers on Wednesday. “Ravellette Publications owned newspapers have never missed a week’s publication in over 58 years, and we won’t let that happen this week,” stated Ravellette.
First National Bank President Ray Smith said they are handling day to day activities during the power outages through the Faith office. “It is definitely an inconvenience for our customers and our employees.” said Smith, “The only real effect is that customers cannot have in office visits with us in Philip.” Monday and Tuesday, the office in Philip has been closed. “We have our Philip office phone lines directed to the Faith office,” said Smith, "and we have some of our Philip office employees in the Faith office to help with operations. We are just a phone call away to help with any banking needs through this power outage. As soon as we have consistent power to the Philip office, we will be back to normal operations there.”
“West Central Electric and Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) have been working nonstop,” said Haakon County Sheriff Fred Koester. “The city and county crews have been pulling long hours to do everything they can to help clean up the trees, windblown damage on streets and to keep people safe and operations going” A lingering problem Sheriff Koester noted to warn residents of is the noticeable buildings that are damaged and more so to be watching out for the ‘un-noticed’ structural stress and damage they have experienced over the past three days. “We have a great deal of structural damage to buildings and houses in the area, plus all the dams in the area are full and cannot hold any more water,” said Koester. “Any more rain and we will have some substantial flooding within the county.”
The latest news from the West Central Electric office at press time on Tuesday morning was “For some of our members, the outlook is bleak for getting power anytime soon, especially if you are in the Kadoka and Philip areas. Please expect to be without power today and possibly even tomorrow. We are getting more crews from Cherry-Todd Electric, Moreau Grand Electric, and West River Electric. We are also getting Keinz Construction to assist. We have never received so much transmission line damage in our 72 years of existence.” Both delivery lines experienced heavy damage, with many poles down on both lines. There was a temporary line built to get one feed energized before the storm hit Monday night but it went down again and it is much worse the second time.