MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Thunderstorms that blew through the Missoula area Monday night downed trees, damaged buildings, knocked out electricity and sparked some fires.
Crews worked Tuesday to clean up the debris, restore power service and assess the damage.
National Weather Service meteorologist Genki Kino said winds reached up to 60 miles per hour in some areas, with peak winds recorded at 74 miles per hour in Missoula.
A microburst flattened a 15-foot wide section of a cornfield for a distance of more than 100 yards, the Missoulian reports, while a pole barn was flipped upside down on the road.
About 8,000 people in Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley were without power early Tuesday afternoon, down from initial reports of 18,000 shortly after the storm. Fire crews responded to a series of small fires sparked in both communities during the storm.
Downed trees struck power lines, residences and vehicles throughout the area.
Bob Hall told said the storm carried his 10-by-12-foot metal shed a block away and flattened it.
The Missoula Red Cross chapter set up a shelter for displaced residents. Missoula officials are urging residents to report debris to parks officials.
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