Know About Weather Watches And Warnings

radio kiwaSheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week In Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service Is focusing on a different severe weather topic. Today’s topic is warning reception.

One of the most important precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family from severe weather is to remain weather aware. Being weather aware means you are informed of the weather forecast and alert to the potential hazards. Knowing what to do and where to go when watches and warnings are issued is key to your safety, but a watch or warning is only helpful if you are aware of them. How do you receive information about watches and warnings? With today’s technology there are many different ways to receive this information but it is up to you to remain weather aware and actively listen for watches and warnings! A weather radio can be programmed to alert you about watches and warnings, but it’s still up to you to remain weather aware in case the radio or transmitter would fail.

National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp, from the Sioux Falls Forecast Office tells us about the ways you can receive weather watches and warnings.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Heitkamp says watches and warnings are not all the same.  One severe thunderstorm warning may warn about large hail and flooding, while another one may warn more about dangerous lightning.  A tornado warning may warn about a small tornado or a very large one.  He says that’s why it’s important to listen to what’s being said, and to act on the information.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

A watch is issued to give advance notice when conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather, whether it is severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flash flooding. When a watch is issued for your area, it is time to take precautions and make sure you are prepared should bad weather strike.

Warnings are issued when severe weather is occurring or imminent. When a warning is issued for your area, you should take action immediately to protect your life and your property.

For more information, click here for the National Weather Service’s Warning Reception Brochure.

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).

Para obtener información sobre la preparación de mal tiempo, haga clic aquí. (en español)


Multiple Injuries In Highway 60 Accident

UPDATE: The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has released some more information about victims in Monday morning’s accident on Highway 60.
CC Ambulance1
They say that 64-year-old Alan VanBeek of Orange City, who was the driver of the Orkin pickup was treated, and was then transferred to Sioux Falls with life-threatening injuries.

They report that there were five victims in the 2006 Volkswagen.

One victim from the VW was treated, and then was transferred to Sioux Falls for a fractured arm and remains under their care. Another victim from the VW was treated, transferred to Sioux Falls, and was released there.

Three victims from the VW were treated and released locally.
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Original Story:

Sibley, Iowa — Multiple people were injured in an accident near Sibley on Monday morning.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 64-year-old Alan VanBeek of Orange City was driving a 2011 Ford Ranger, owned by Orkin LLC, eastbound on 210th Street, four miles south of Sibley. Witnesses advised that the Ford Ranger failed to stop at the stop sign at Highway 60. The Sheriff’s Office reports that 32-year-old Erick H Chavez Gallegos, of Worthington, MN, was driving a 2006 Volkswagen, owned by Dylan Malvin.

The Volkswagen hit the Ford Ranger broadside on Highway 60.

There were multiple people injured. The Sheriff’s Office says the severity of injuries is unknown.

The Ford Ranger sustained $5000 damage and the Volkswagen had $8000 damage.

The Sibley Ambulance, Sibley Fire & Rescue crews, Ashton Ambulance crew, Ashton Fire & Rescue personnel, Little Rock Ambulance crew, and George EMS assisted at the scene.


Four Charged With Felony Drug Offenses

Spencer, Iowa — Four people were charged with felony drug offenses after Spencer Police carried out a search warrant on Saturday.

file photo
file photo

The Spencer Police Department reports that during the search of an apartment on Third Street on Saturday, March 21st, 2015, officers seized approximately 41 grams of marijuana, 7.2 ounces of hashish oil, a large amount of currency, and numerous items of drug paraphernalia. Police say the investigation revealed other items consistent with the active distribution of marijuana and the manufacturing of hashish oil.

As a result , 18 year-olds Devin Hopper and Tyrell Gibson, 21-year-old Austin Muilenburg, and 23-year-old Jared Nissen, all of Spencer were all charged with

  • Possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver (Class D felony)
  • Manufacturing hashish oil (Class D felony)
  • Violation of drug tax stamp (Class D felony)
  • Gathering where controlled substances are unlawfully used (Serious misdemeanor)
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia (Simple misdemeanor)

Jared Nissen was charged with one additional count of Interference with Official Acts, a Simple Misdemeanor.

All were subsequently transported and booked into the Clay County Jail.


UPDATE: Fire Causes Extensive Damage To Home

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City home sustained extensive damage in a fire on Saturday night, March 21.
Orange City Fire OCFD Engine 60
Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel says about 10:35 PM, the Orange City Fire Department, Alton Fire Department and Orange City Ambulance crew responded to a report of a structure fire that occurred at 303 Kentucky Avenue Northwest in Orange City.

When emergency responders arrived, he says they found a ranch style house on fire with flames showing on the back of the home burning up to the attic area.

The fire was extinguished and considered under control about 11:40 PM. The home sustained extensive heat and smoke damage. Orange City Fire units remained until about 1:45 AM.

No injuries were reported.

The property sustained an estimated $100,000 in damages.

Vander Wel says that following an investigation by the Orange City Fire Department into the origin and cause of the fire, it has been determined that cause was likely accidental.

He says the investigation revealed that the most probable cause of the fire was likely a result of spontaneous combustion due to unattended linseed oil rags left in a bucket near the rear of the residence. The fire then spread from the rags, igniting the back of the home, up toward the roof area.

The Orange City Fire Department, Alton Fire Department and Orange City Ambulance crew were assisted by the Orange City Utilities Department, Orange City Police Department and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.


Flash Flooding Causes 140 Deaths In US Every Year

Flash flooding usgsSheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week In Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Today’s topic is flash flooding.

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard, resulting in more than 140 fatalities each year.

Most flash floods are caused by slow moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms that redevelop over the same area, or heavy rains from tropical storms and hurricanes. These floods can develop within minutes or hours depending on the intensity and duration of the rain, the topography, soil conditions, and ground cover.

A flash flood is a rapid rise of water along a stream or low-lying urban area. Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more. Flash flood-producing rains also can trigger catastrophic mudslides.

The Sioux Falls office of the National Weather Service covers our area of northwest Iowa. Todd Heitkamp, their Warning Coordination Meteorologist says flash flooding does indeed occur in our area.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

He says people need to stay aware of what’s going on when severe weather is threatening or imminent.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Flash Flood Watch:

Issued by the National Weather Service to indicate current or developing hydrological conditions that are favorable for flash flooding in and close to the watch area. The occurrence of flooding is neither certain nor imminent. Those in the watch area should be alert for flooding.

Flash Flood Warning:

National Weather Service meteorologists have determined that flash flooding is occurring or imminent. Those in the warning area should take the necessary precautions at once.

Flash Flood Emergency:

A Flash Flood Emergency is issued by the National Weather Service. It is not a new warning, but is used to highlight a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood which is imminent or ongoing.

 

For more information, click here for the National Weather Service’s Flooding Brochure.

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).

Para obtener información sobre la preparación de mal tiempo, haga clic aquí. (en español)


Iowa Milk: Highest February Since 1969

Des Moines, Iowa — Milk production in Iowa during February 2015 totaled 371 million pounds, up 5 percent from February 2014 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report.
milk and cheese
This is the highest February milk production for Iowa since 1969. The average number of milk cows during February, at 210,000 head, was unchanged from last month, but 5,000 more than a year ago. Monthly production per cow averaged 1,765 pounds, up 40 pounds from last February.

Milk production in the 23 major states during February totaled 15.1 billion pounds, up 1.7 percent from February 2014. January revised production, at 16.5 billion pounds, was up 2.2 percent from January 2014. The January revision represented an increase of 17 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 23 major xtates averaged 1,757 pounds for February, 8 pounds above February 2014. This is the highest production per cow for the month of February since the 23 State series began in 2003. This comparison is based upon all months of February being adjusted to 28 days.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.62 million head, 106,000 head more than February 2014, and 2,000 head more than January 2015.

Milk production in the United States during February totaled 16.2 billion pounds, up 1.7 percent from February
2014.

Production per cow in the United States averaged 1,736 pounds for February, 9 pounds above February 2014.

The number of milk cows on farms in the United States was 9.31 million head, 100,000 head more than February 2014, and 3,000 head more than January 2015.

Click here for more statistics and graphs.