Doug Davis finally found his tractor that had been swooped up by a tornado from his ranch in northwest South Dakota;
“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. 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?”
Bizarrely, the disappearing tractor left no tracks of its upwards exit.
“It was in crested wheatgrass, about 14 inches high. The wheat was straight up, not bent. (The tractor) went straight up, didn’t bend down the crested wheatgrass. 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. I have found parts as far as three miles away.”
He’s still missing a couple well-used cars that were rather permanently parked, that were taken from his yard:
“I had a Datsun pickup truck up on the hill past the renters’ house, and I have not found it. And also a Chrysler New Yorker parked there. It is completely gone, we haven’t found it.”
Nobody was injured physically in Harding County that she has heard, said Emergency Manager Glines, but livestock was injured and dead deer were found near a creek where one of the tornadoes hit.
Harding County has about 1,255 people; across the state line, Carter County has about 1,200 people. Weather service officials say they still are investigating the tornadoes that hit the area on June 28.