While winds might have reached 130 mph, local officials said there were no reports of injuries resulting from the storm.
As of Monday evening, power had yet to be restored to the south half of Oakes, said Charlie Russell, Dickey County Emergency Management director. Without power, many Oakes businesses didn't open Monday. But there was still plenty of work to do as the high winds and heavy rains created a considerable mess.
Longtime weather reporter Willie Pritchard of Oakes estimated straight winds of 80 to 100 mph rolled through the town, accompanied by 1.75 inches of rain.
"To me, this is the worst (storm I can remember)," Pritchard said. "I've lived here since 1953, and I've never seen it like this."
A tornado might cause more damage, but generally hits only an isolated area, he said. Sunday evening's winds cut a wide swath through much of the county.
Pritchard was driving home during the storm when he decided to pull over and wait it out in Hecla.
"I could feel my big ol' Suburban lifting off the ground just that last mile there," he said.
Russell knows just how Pritchard felt. He was out chasing the storm and was in his Suburban near Merricourt, N.D., when it hit. The winds were so strong, he thought the vehicle was going to flip over.
Ultimately, though, neither he nor Dickey County Sheriff Jim Bohannon heard of any storm-related injuries.
Tornadoes . . . or not
Lots of people reported seeing two tornadoes, Russell said, but as of Monday evening, he had not seen evidence of tornadoes. National Weather Service workers estimated winds in the Monango area in the 110- to 120-mph range. And, Russell said, he wouldn't be surprised if gusts hit 130 mph closer to Oakes.
The winds caused extensive damage within four miles of a line that ran from Kulm, N.D., to Hecla, Russell said. Grain bins were knocked over, and buildings were left without roofs, he said.
In Monango, a private elevator was badly damaged. One of the elevator's grain bins was blown two blocks east into a yard in town. Mayor Dean Torgerson estimated between 3 and 5 inches of rain fell, but it was hard to to know an accurate amount because "it was going sideways."
Debris from the elevator covered part of U.S. Highway 281, which had to be closed briefly Sunday evening, Torgerson said.
Tyler Kinzler, a Monango City Council member whose father owns the elevator, said the structure was so badly damaged that it will be torn down. Two vehicles stored at the elevator were damaged, one of them probably totaled, he said.
The wind ripped the roof off a Monango building used as a home, Torgerson said. The couple was home at the time, but was not injured, the mayor said.
At least two homes were damaged in Oakes, one of them belonging to Bohannon and his wife, Moe, publisher of the Oakes Times newspaper.