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Published July 05 2011

Fourth of July brings weather fireworks in Fargo-Moorhead

FARGO – The Fourth of July came to a stormy close Monday night as tornado warnings set off sirens in the Fargo-Moorhead area and lightning storms lit up the sky.

What didn’t light up was the annual fireworks display at Minnesota State University Moorhead, which was canceled by the threat of severe weather.

A number of tornado warnings were issued after a weather spotter reported a funnel cloud near Grandin about 9:24 p.m.

Additional warnings soon followed, as storms moved closer to the Fargo-Moorhead area.

A member of the public reported a tornado on the ground near Mapleton about 10 p.m., but there were no reports of injuries or damage at the time the newspaper went to print.

Some people who had gathered for the MSUM event took shelter in Nemzek Hall on campus when tornado sirens began sounding about 9:30 p.m., said Sarah Swenson, a spokeswoman for MSUM.

She said others headed for home when bad weather threatened.

At the time this story went to print late Monday, the Weather Service said severe storms capable of 60 mph winds and quarter-size hail were located along a line extending from two miles west of Davenport, to three miles west of Englevale.

The storms were moving to the southeast.

Dispatchers in Fargo said there had been no reports of serious damage from the storm as of press time Monday night.