Derecho Devastates Property and Crops in Iowa
A derecho that started in southeast South Dakota during the early hours of Monday morning has caused tremendous property and crop damage as grew in intensity and swept across central Iowa before ending 770 miles later in Ohio.
A derecho is a rare weather event that has been referred to as an 'inland hurricane' due to its damaging straight-line winds and the ability to produce tornadoes. During Monday's derecho, wind speeds as high as 112 mph were reported in Midway, Iowa, a town about 10 miles north of Cedar Rapids.
According to AgWeb, the organized line of storms hit Iowa especially hard, toppling grain bins in dozens of counties and damaging livestock farms. Iowa is the nation's leading hog and corn producer. The report says farmers could be left scrambling to find storage for their crops due to widespread bin losses.
Gov Kim Reynolds of Iowa said early estimates show around 10 million acres of crop damage in the state. KCCI TV reports that Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for six counties that were heavily impacted by the storms. The proclamation frees up state resources and relaxes certain regulations allowing for crews to respond quickly to repair the damage. A member of the Iowa Utilities Board said this derecho could be one of the most destructive storms Iowa has ever seen.
As of the writing of this article on Tuesday morning (8/11), poweroutage.us reports around 383,000 customers in Iowa are still without power. Gov Reynolds says some Iowa customers could be without power for 'several days.'