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The Dakota Western Bank in Bowman was evacuated and closed Thursday, afternoon for several hours after strong winds caused an electrical short.

The Bowman Fire Department responded with four units, according to Chief Chad Welch, while ambulances and police and sheriff units also arrived on the scene. The page went out originally as a structure fire, prompting the ambulance response, Welch explained. “Anytime there is a structure fire, the ambulance comes automatically.”

The winds broke a tree branch near the bank shortly before 2 p.m. It fell on the power lines close to the bank, the chief said. “Then it shorted out the transformer.

“They (the bank) were out of power for a while. We did have trucks stand by while the MDU crew out of Dickinson had to come down and replace the transformer, There was sparking, so we sat there to be sure the public wasn’t in danger.

“It (the falling branch) blew the line fuse and ended up taking out the transformer also. It shorted between the two lines,” the chief explained.

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