Hundreds of thousands of people across the Midwest went without power on Tuesday after a powerful storm packing 100 mph winds hit the area a day earlier, causing widespread damage to millions of acres of crops and killing at least two people.
The storm, known as the derecho, ravaged eastern Nebraska through Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, blowing trees, overturning vehicles and causing extensive damage to property and people. cultures. The storm knocked down trees and power lines that blocked roads in Chicago and its suburbs. After leaving Chicago, the most powerful part of the storm system moved to north-central Indiana.
The storm also caused significant damage to agriculture. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said early estimates indicated 10 million acres had been damaged in the nation’s top corn-producing state, with nearly a third of the roughly 31 square meters used for crops. crops in the state. The most significant damage concerns the maize crop.
“This morning a farmer contacted me to tell me this was the worst wind damage to crops and farm buildings he had ever seen across the state in such a large area,” Reynolds said.
“It’s incredibly devastating to see what happens to crops and structures along the path of the storm,” said Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Naig said tens of millions of bushels of commercial grain storage and millions of bushels of on-farm grain storage had been damaged or destroyed.
Roger Zylstra, who has farmed in central Iowa near Kellogg since 1980, said four of his pigsties lost their roofs, two of his machine sheds sustained significant damage and several of his acres of corn had been destroyed. Zylstra, 69, said crop insurance would help but the financial blow would be devastating for many farmers.
“The question remains for all of us: what will happen in the next five or six weeks? How much can we save from these fields? Zylstra said. “I know some people won’t survive this.”
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, Isabel E Atencio died in a hospital after firefighters removed her from debris inside her mobile home after high winds rolled her sideways Monday night, officials said. Firefighters found the 73-year-old under the debris inside her overturned trailer and discovered she was holding a five-year-old boy who is believed to be her grandson, authorities said. The boy had minor injuries.
A derecho is not quite a hurricane. He has no eye and his winds meet online. But its damage looks more like an inland hurricane than a faster, more powerful tornado, according to Patrick Marsh, chief of scientific support at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
The storm began with separate thunderstorms in South Dakota before strengthening over Iowa; By the time the system reached Des Moines, the wind gusts were timed to over 100 mph, climatologists said.
Iowa officials reported roofs ripped from homes and buildings, vehicles blown off the roads and hit by trees, and people injured by flying debris. One death and dozens of injuries have been reported in the state.
Thomas Rowland, a 63-year-old cyclist, has died after being struck by one of the many large trees that fell on a bike path outside of Cedar Rapids on Monday.
Iowa utility officials said it would likely take several days to restore power to everyone. Nearly 340,000 Iowa customers of MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy went without power on Tuesday afternoon. Another 33,000 in the Illinois Quad Cities area also lacked power.
Power and internet outages were prevalent in Iowa’s three largest metropolitan areas: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. The power outages were so severe that at one point Monday, 97% of households in Linn County, which includes Cedar Rapids, were in the dark, Reynolds said.