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Several large trees toppled and tiny home damaged during weekend storm


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AMERICAN FALLS – A severe thunderstorm ripped through power county on Saturday afternoon, toppling several large trees and damaging some RVs and a tiny home.

Tim Axford, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pocatello, described the winds that came along with the storm.

“We had several areas of enhanced segments that really brought stronger winds, stronger than what was even seen on some of the instruments that we have out there,” Axford told KPVI.

Winds produced from these storms are known as straight line winds. They usually occur during a Microburst, where cold air from a dying storm system rushes out and produces winds that can reach close to 90 miles per hour.

With winds that strong, small loose items can be lifted and fly through the air. The Willow Bay Campground is one area that was hit. Campground owner Chris Schulz the storm came with very little warning and could have been life-threatening to campers.

“It was right between 3:30 and 4 p.m. that it came through. Most of the damage happened within a three to four minute period,” Schulz says. “We had winds in excess of 50 miles an hour. We saw a lot of leaves. We heard a lot of commotion. We did get enough warning to get a lot of the loose things in the campground put away.”

Damage was minimal to a few RVs, a tiny home, and trees, Axford says, and the trees that were toppled were pretty big.

“We got out to willow bay marina and saw several large trees down, mostly laying in one direction. That gives us an indication it was a very strong Microburst signature of straight line winds,” says Axford.

Microburst events do not last long, but as of Monday night, the National Weather Service still has not officially confirmed whether or not this was a microburst.

This story was first published by KPVI. It is used here with permission.