The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 16, 2012

Storms roll through southeast Iowa

HEDRICK — This time, forecasters gave plenty of warning. Weekend storms could pound their way from Council Bluffs in southwest Iowa straight through to southeast Iowa. And that’s what happened. Sort of.

Storms would do tremendous damage in a town along that west-to-east trail, then just dampen the next town while suddenly beating mercilessly on the town after that.

In southeast Iowa, law enforcement and the National Weather Service report that it was one part of Keokuk County that was worst hit.  The police dispatcher there said Hedrick suffered some serious damage, while most other parts of the county escaped unharmed.

Large limbs were ripped from trees, and siding was pulled from some structures. No injuries due to the storm have been reported.

Hail hit a number of communities in the area. The largest hail reported to the National Weather Service was 2.5 inches just southwest of Eddyville. Another report, this one from northwest of Eddyville, had 1.75-inch hail.

Eddyville emergency personnel were out watching for dangerous storms when their fire truck became the victim of one. A photo shows huge dents, reportedly as a result of hail the size of tennis balls.

Other reports submitted to the National Weather Service show at least one wind gust hitting 97 mph at the Oskaloosa airport. And some local communities had customers experience power outages.

To the west, Monroe County appears to have escaped extensive damage.

“I have not heard any reports of damage,” said emergency coordinator John Arnold.

This report came shortly after noon and applied to Monroe and Appanoose counties, two of the four counties Arnold handles.

Emergency dispatchers also reported limited or no damage in Davis, Jefferson, Monroe, Van Buren and Wapello counties. 

But the storm season is just getting warmed up. The National Weather Service is already predicting a chance for additional severe weather rolling into the area mid-week.

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