Thunderstorms pounded parts of Iowa today (Thursday), spawning warnings and causing damage with high winds and hail. Clay County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Bryce Denker went driving into the town of Everly and found the street completely blocked with trees. “I actually drove up into yards to get in here,” Denker says. There are lots of trees down, plus some homes in Everly have trees now piercing their roofs. Power lines are down, too. Denker thought at first winds must have hit 50 miles an hour, and then revised that opinion. He saw a 70-foot-tall pine tree that’d been knocked down, and an oak tree that was ten feet in diameter had been uprooted though he says its roots were visibly strong and healthy. “I’m venturing to guess that we were…up in the mid 70s for windspeed,” Denker says. State troopers, Clay County deputies, Everly police and other local officials sealed off the northwest Iowa town for a time after the storm passed through. By mid-afternoon the power was back on, and heavy road and construction equipment had shoveled away the trees and branches. A least four Iowa State University employees reported seeing what they thought was a funnel cloud over the Ames campus. Annette Hacker, an ISU spokeswoman, says the storm swept in over lunchtime. “The storm came up very suddenly,” Hacker says. “High winds, pounding rain, black as night out.” Several trees on campus were blown over. At least two trees were uprooted, and one utility truck on campus was heavily damaged. Hacker says at least seven people were injured during the storm, but only one seriously enough that they were sent to the hospital in Ames for treatment and observation. A device on top of an ISU building measured a wind gust of 83 miles an hour.
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