Mother Nature unleashes fury on Hazen
By Lee Coleman
The Fourth of July weekend was beautiful and hot, and that likely kept many eyes peeled to the sky in anticipation of pop-up summer storms that can be a regular occurrence in the area.
Friday and Saturday stayed calm, but come sunset Sunday night, Mother Nature showed her summer attitude, unleashing a powerful storm in Hazen and surrounding areas in Mercer County.
The storm, which occurred shortly after 9 p.m., came in as a horrid storm but was gone in about 15 minutes.
According to Adam Jones, a meteorologist with the Bismarck National Weather Service, Hazen received one-half inch of rain in those 15 minutes, accompanied by 80 mph straight line winds and hail reported in some areas as big as an inch-and-a-half in diameter.
Jones said the saving factor was the speed of the storm. Moving southeast at 45 mph at the height of the storm, it quickly moved out of the area.
Several trees were snapped and electricity was lost after a large tree fell across cable and power lines about two blocks south of Pretty Petals.
One of the city’s sewer lift stations took a hit from the loss of electricity. About 1:30 a.m., Director Ron Neuberger called Mayor Jerry Obenauer and expressed concerns over the generator at the station and its ability to function. If the generators failed, Obenauer said, residences in the area would not have been able to use toilet facilities because the lift station carries sewer waste to the lagoon.