Skip to content

Small tornado touched down in Bismarck

BISMARCK — The National Weather Service in St. Louis determined that a small tornado caused most of the damage in Bismarck during the early morning hours on Thursday.

According to a report on the National Weather Service’s Web site, a survey of damage indicated a brief tornado touched down near Route BB and Cherry Street, then moved eastward to the northeast edge of town along School Drive. Most of the damage was to trees, with minor roof damage also common. 

More substantial damage was done to a preschool building along Campus Drive, with the gabled roof torn completely from the well-constructed masonry building and thrown into the adjacent parking lot. Damage patterns showed reliable indications of rotation. The path length was approximately one mile long and 200 yards wide. The severity of roof damage to the preschool building warrants an intensity ranking of EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Bismarck Superintendent Dr. Damon Gamble met with an adjuster from the school’s insurance company on Thursday. Gamble said the adjuster indicated that the pre-school building is salvageable.

“We have an engineer coming in next week,” Gamble said. “The adjuster didn’t think fixing the building will be a problem.”

Gamble said the district is using a company called CATCO to perform the restoration work.

“They’ve already started,” he said Friday afternoon. “You wouldn’t know the building from yesterday to today. The cleanup is under way and the timetable to be back using the building is by August.”

Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

Leave a Comment