Storms rumbled through western Iowa over the weekend, packing high winds, hail, heavy rain and tornadoes. Twisters were reported in Mills, Fremont, Pottawattamie and Montgomery counties on Saturday, while hail of well over three-quarters of an inch in diameter was reported in Harrison County. A roof was torn off of a building near Macedonia in Montgomery County. Tornado sirens also sounded Sunday morning in Cass County where Sheriff Bill Sage says there’s major devastation.
Sage says just before three A.M., authorities received a call from a farm located just north of the Cass-Montgomery County line. The owner of the farm , Kent Muller, said his farm service and grain elevator business had been hit by a twister or high winds. Four nearby farmsteads also sustained considerable damage. Further north, near Lyman, a high power line hung low to the road after two sets of metal power poles were brought down by the storm.
The National Weather Service says a tornado packing winds of 120-to-130-miles per hour created a path of destruction seven-miles long and up to a half-mile wide at some locations. The Weather Service says an area between Cumberland and Anita sustained straight-line winds of 70-to-90-miles per hour, resulting in downed trees and damage to outbuildings or storage sheds. Those living near Anita are convinced a tornado caused the damage.
In addition, Sheriff Sage says rainfall amounting to over five-inches in the Griswold area created severe flooding and some tense moments for emergency personnel. Sage says the Griswold Police Chief and a sheriff’s deputy had to rescue someone who had tried to cross the swiftly moving water. The rising water forced the evacuation of 30 residents to a community center until late Sunday afternoon. Northeast of Griswold, the town Atlantic was not immune from flooding, as the Troublesome Creek lived up to its name when its waters merged with the East Nishnabotna to create low-land flooding that forced the evacuation of at least one residence. The only reported casualty of the storms was a person who suffered chest juries when he fell 15-feet while trying to repair a roof.
By late Sunday afternoon, over four and a-half inches of rain had fallen in Atlantic, while off to the north, in Audubon County, over six-inches of rain was reported. Additional rain late Sunday night threatened to add one-to two-more inches to the already saturated soil.