- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A strong storm system that moved through south-central North Dakota on Tuesday prompted the National Weather Service in Bismarck to warn residents about the potential for tennis ball-size hail and tornadoes.

Forecasters told residents in parts of Burleigh, Emmons, Sioux and Morton counties to expect hail damage to roofs, siding, windows and vehicles, as well as downed trees and wind gusts that could reach 60 mph at times.

“We had several thunderstorms move through the area,” said meteorologist Todd Hamilton, with the Weather Service in Bismarck. “We’ve had reports this evening of quarter- to a half dollar-size hail.”

The severe thunderstorm warning issued Tuesday evening said people and animals outdoors were at risk of being injured by the hail. Forecasters said the torrential rainfall brought by the storm could also cause flash flooding, and they advised motorists to not drive their vehicles through flooded roads.

The storm warning joined a tornado watch that was issued earlier in the day. The watch, which was expected to last until 10 p.m. Tuesday, extended across several counties in south-central North Dakota and into South Dakota.

In North Dakota, the tornado watch covered from Sioux, Grant, Morton and Mercer counties in the west to Griggs, Barnes, Ransom and Sargent counties in the east. It also affected Campbell, Corson and McPherson counties in South Dakota.

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