Sudden storm sweeps through Lake St. John area

Published 8:39 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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Those with lake houses or camps around Lake St. John may want to check on their property soon, as a sudden storm with a strong wind came through the area on Tuesday afternoon.

Rosco Kimbro was watching a weather radar when he noticed a storm suddenly shift directions. He said the wind had been blowing out of the south. Then it changed to blowing out of the north, which pushed the system over the lake, he said. Rain began around 3:45 p.m., and the brunt of the storm passed through the Spokane area where he lives around 4:00 p.m, he said.

Lake goers said they saw limbs down, and one house lost the roof of a back porch in tornadic-like wind strong enough to blow away loose items such as chairs that may have been left on piers. Kimbro said he thought there might have been a funnel cloud overhead, but he could not see for sure.

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“There was some sort of circulation in the clouds, and it looked like it was ripping tops out of the trees,” Kimbro said. “It might have been a funnel cloud, but I couldn’t see because it was raining so hard. I have lived up here off and on for the past 20 years. The waves were as big as I have ever seen them.”

He said his rain gauge picked up about .92 inches of rain in 15 minutes. Milton Rawles, who lives about a mile east of Kimbro, said he measured over an inch of rain in 15 minutes. In the 26 years of living on Lake St. John, he said the storm was as bad as he had seen in a long time. His property did not receive any damage to it, but he does have limbs to clean up, he said.

“I suspect a lot of people when they come back up to their camps they are going to find a lot of chairs and stuff like that they left on their piers are not going to be there anymore,” Rawles said. “I try to make sure to tie all of my stuff down. We do get some blows every once in a while. This one was really intense.”

Deanna L. Kimbro captured this video of tall waves on Lake St. John.