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Bowdle Tornado Rated EF 4

May 24, 2010, 4:58 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Bowdle Tornado Rated EF 4
ABERDEEN, SD - As the hail started falling out west Monday, the National Weather Service was still tallying the damage from the last round of severe storms. 

It turns out the tornado that touched down near Bowdle Saturday was bigger than first confirmed. According to an updated preliminary damage report from the National Weather Service, the tornado north of Bowdle was rated an EF 4.

It took out buildings, tossed around vehicles and much more in two counties. All that damage led to the preliminary rating.

"One farm place we saw looked like a vehicle had been lifted up and been thrown about 75 to 100 yards through the air; we're estimating probably 30 to 40 feet in the air," David Hintz said. 

That's just one small piece Hintz and others from the National Weather Service consider when determining how powerful the storm really was.

"We look at tree damage, vehicle damage. If there is structure damage, we try to look at how well it was built," Hintz said.

There was enough obvious damage early on for the weather service to determine the storm was at least an EF 3.

Meteorologists reported specific damage to engineers to determine how much force it would take to cause it. Once information from the damage assessments came together Monday, the storm was upgraded.

It's no surprise with so many downed power lines, toppled buildings and what's left of one observed fence. The storm ripped the barbed wire off and tossed who knows where.

"It was not part of the fence anymore; it was just gone. And even though that's not a damage indicator because barbed wire isn't that heavy of a feature, it's just one of those 'wow' type things you stumble across," Hintz said.

That too is just one small example of all the damage just this one tornado left behind. The weather service was still confirming tornado sightings Monday and the latest count is seven.

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