The Farm Bureau estimates last year’s derecho caused nearly half a billion dollars in damage to Iowa crops.
Rod Pierce, who farms near Woodward, is still working on repairing some of his grain bins and two of the bins will be replaced in the next few weeks.
“One of the things my wife did — we had never heard of a derecho and so she basically renamed it ‘Gone with the Wind’ so that seems to fit the name of what happened better than, I think, derecho,” he told Radio Iowa.
Pierce said he’s lucky to have had not only good crop insurance, but insurance on structures and vehicles that covered the replacement value of the property. Trees were tipped over and snapped off and he still has toppled trees to clear away.
“I knew we’d lost trees, but I never thought that’d be one of the things I’d miss a lot is the nice shade and the beauty of some of the trees that got damaged and insurance didn’t pay me for anything, but my insurance did a good job,” Pierce said. “I was very, very blessed to have good insurance.”
Pierce says his operation suffered $750,000 in crop damage. Unfortunately, Pierce had to submit a new claim last month. A storm with tennis-ball-sized hail ripped through four of his corn fields, shattered skylights in his house and damaged vehicles.
“Luckily, God was with me and I did have some hail insurance,” Pierce said, “but we are experiencing weather at this location, I guess.”
Wind speeds from last year’s derecho reached 131 miles an hour as the storm passed over Pierce’s farm.