Heavy rain, inch-thick hail and winds up to 80-miles-an-hour accompanied last night’s wicked storms that spun off at least two tornadoes. No injuries are reported, but trees took a beating statewide, dropping limbs onto power lines and leaving at least 28,000 Iowans without electricity. MidAmerican Energy spokesman Tim Grabinski says some customers are still without power this morning — about a-thousand MidAmerican customers total are still without power in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and in the Council Bluffs area. MidAmerican spokesman Allan Urlis says the utility’s crews had a very long night. He says power equipment was hit by lightning, power poles were knocked down, and power lines were taken out by falling trees and limbs. Urlis says it may be six o’clock tonight before everyone’s back on the grid.He says crews are having to work neighborhood to neighborhood, restoring power to smaller clusters of homes. Marshalltown city administrator Dick Heirstein says residents lost many hundreds of trees and he’s appealing to those residents to help the city in clearing the mess. Marshalltown and surrounding Marshall County caught winds approaching 80-miles-an-hour and nearly two inches of rain. There’s damage to an apartment complex in Albion, just north of Marshalltown, but no injuries reported. Scott Jazinski is a spokesman for Alliant Energy, which serves Marshall County. About half of Alliant’s 12,000-some customers in Marshall County lost power in the storms. Marshalltown had to scramble crews with large equipment to clear a number of city streets that were blocked by fallen tree limbs. Bob Wall, Marshalltown’s street superintendent, says all they did last night was open streets to ensure traffic could get through; debris pick-up begins this morning. In the northeast, Waterloo set a new rainfall record for yesterday’s date, getting almost two inches of rain and deep-sixing a record that had stood since 1915.
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