News, Top Stories

UPDATE: NEW PHOTOS – Severe Thunderstorm Batters Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa — A severe thunderstorm packing brief periods of heavy rain, along with strong winds blew through northwest Iowa early This (Tuesday, May 16th) morning, leaving tree limbs and power lines down, along with other damage, in its wake.  

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch had been issued for the area late last night, but no Severe Thunderstorm WARNING was issued in regards to the storm that passed through our area.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp of the Sioux Falls Weather Station says the storm was producing winds of 40 to 45 mph as it traveled northeast out of the Sioux City area.  As it moved northeast, Heitkamp says the storm just fell apart, but as it did, he says a “heat burst” was generated, which caused the temperature to rise 10 to 15 degrees ahead of the storm and then the winds increased as well.  Heitkamp says “heat bursts” are impossible to warn of beforehand.

O’Brien County EMA Coordinator Jared Johnson says the storm passed through the area between 3 and 4 this morning.

Johnson says it appears the strongest winds were clocked in Dickinson County.

He says the damage path began in Sheldon.

Johnson says various agencies were called upon to help in the storm’s aftermath.

Some of the most significant damage in O’Brien County ocurred in Hartley, where Mayor Rod Ahrenstorff says his community was plunged into darkness.

Mayor Ahrenstorff says crews from Le Mars were called in to get the substation back online.

Ahrenstorff says assistance was called from Sanborn to help with the broken poles.  He says he’s hopeful that power can be restored to the entire community by late afternoon.

You can find out more about “heat bursts” by visiting the National Weather Service website.

Some photos of storm damage from Tuesday morning’s storm can be viewed below:

Hartley Electrical Substation Damaged By Storm — Photo Courtesy O’Brien County EMA

 

Tree On Truck In Hartley – Photo Courtesy of O’Brien County EMA

 

Storm Damage In Primghar — Photo Courtesy of O’Brien County EMA

 

Storm Damage In Hartley — Photo Courtesy of O’Brien County EMA

 

Damage in Sanborn — Photo Courtesty O’Brien County EMA

 

Tree Damage In Sanborn — Photo courtesy of O’Brien County EMA

 

Damage Near Sheldon’s Christian Retirement Home — KIWA Staff Photo

 

Damage Near Sheldon’s Christian Retirement Home — KIWA Staff Photo

 

Damage Near Sheldon’s Christian Retirement Home — KIWA Staff Photo

 


Original Story posted 8:41 am 5-16-17

Northwest Iowa — A severe thunderstorm packing brief periods of heavy rain along with strong winds blew through the area early this morning, leaving significant damage in its wake.  A peak wind gust of 83 mph was recorded in DIckinson County with the passing of the storm.

O’Brien County EMA Coordinator Jerad Johnson tells KIWA that the storm passed through the Sheldon area between 3 and 4 o’clock this morning, heading northeast into Osceola, Clay and Dickinson counties.

Johnson says there was widespread tree damage starting in Sheldon.  He says there were trees, or limbs, down in Sheldon, Paullina, Primghar, Sanborn, and Hartley, with a limb down on a pickup truck reported in Sutherland.  Johnson says there were power lines reported down in Sheldon, Primghar, and Hartley.  The downed line in Hartley caused a power outage, forcing Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Schools to delay their school day by two hours.  Johnson says the Hartley Fire Department was paged out to help until power company crews could arrive on scene.

In Sheldon, the tree damage was so widespread that the Sheldon EMA was called out to locate the damage areas, informing the City crews where they needed to be.

Johnson thanked the Sheldon Police Department, Sheldon EMA, and the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

There was a Severe Thunderstorm WATCH in effect at the time of the storm, but no Severe Thunderstorm WARNING was issued by the National Weather Service.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp of the Sioux Falls Weather Station says the storm was producing winds of 40 to 45 mph as it traveled northeast out of the Sioux City area.  As it moved northeast, Heitkamp says the storm just fell apart, but as it did, he says a “heat burst” was generated, which caused the temperature to rise 10 to 15 degrees ahead of the storm and then the winds increased as well.  Heitkamp says “heat bursts” are impossible to warn of beforehand.

Previous ArticleNext Article