STORMTracker Weather

Jun 7, 2011 9:41 AM by Amanda Venegas

Tornadoes confirmed in SE Montana

Massive storms blanketed many areas of the state last night, and southeastern Montana was hit especially hard.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma confirmed two separate tornadoes north of Laurel around 9 p.m.

Thankfully, no injuries and no significant damage have been reported at this time.

Monday evening, a powerful and mesmerizing storm captured the attention of many Montanans, including local storm chaser John Ojeda. "These cumulus clouds just bubble up and holy cow, we're right in it" said Ojeda.

Ojeda was right in the middle of the action, shooting video in Molt as the storm moved past Laurel.

Then, Ojeda said, the storm became a sight many could not take their eyes off of. "I see another storm building up and then suddenly they converge and they just turn and they produce this incredible and the only way I can describe it is a mothership effect" Ojeda said.

Ojeda said once he saw an updraft in the cloud formation, he knew the threat of tornadoes was real.

The wall cloud was so massive it covered the sky in an eerie fashion.

KTVQ photographer Jesse Kester got a look of the storm's edge from Acton, off Highway 3 west of Billings, where reports surfaced of funnel activity or a possible tornado.

Later in the evening as the sun set, the wind and rain pummeled the Molt area, as the storm moved through.

He says the strength of the storm picked up a grain bin and threw it onto a building.

As night set in, the storm continued to take shape as lightning made the sights even more dramatic.

The National Weather Service is expected to survey the damage today.


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