Straight-line winds in excess of 70 mph pounded Carroll County on Monday as thunderstorms swept the state, but the damage was minimal compared with parts of central and eastern Iowa, where winds topped 100 mph.
Locally, the worst impact of the storm might be on farmers, many of whom already were struggling with a summer drought.
“It’s really going to complicate their harvest,” said Dave Leiting, general manager of Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company in Arcadia. “Some of the corn is leaning over, and at this stage a lot of it won’t go upright again. Some of it is broken off out there, and it won’t go through the combines right. It really slows harvest down.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds said this week that 10 million crop acres might have been affected by the storms. That’s more than a third of the state’s cropland.
“Many of our neighbors have had their lives drastically impacted, whether it’s through injury or damage to their livelihoods,” Reynolds said. “The state pledges its support to do whatever we can to support them in a quick recovery.”
No injuries were reported in Carroll County, but tree damage was widespread. Severe-weather sirens sounded in Carroll to warn of the high winds.
Randy Krauel, the public works director for Carroll, said most of the significant tree damage happened south of U.S. Highway 30, with fallen limbs draped across city streets. The work to remove that debris finished Tuesday, but other city workers still were clearing debris from city parks.
More than 100 MidAmerican Energy customers in Carroll lost power because of the storm, the company reported.
County employees cleared trees that had fallen on roadways in or near Roselle, Halbur and Lanesboro, said Zac Andersen, the county engineer.
“Overall, we’re pretty lucky,” Andersen said.
Elsewhere in the state, residents were without electricity for days.
“Utility companies have reported to the (Iowa Utilities Board) and have indicated that the storm damage was one of the most destructive of record, with downed power lines, destructive tree damage and hundreds of thousands of utility customers that are without service,” said Geri Huser, the chairwoman of the board.
Reynolds said that at their peak, the outages affected about 550,000 utility customers.
MidAmerican customers in some nearby cities fared worse than Carroll:
— Audubon: More than 1,300 lost power.
— Sac City: More than 500.
— Rockwell City: More than 300.
There was some damage reported to vehicles and buildings in western Iowa on Monday, including:
— Denison: A tree fell on a car.
— Kiron: A semitrailer truck was blown out of control and crashed.
— Lohrville: A roof tore off of a building.
Jefferson, which had wind gusts in excess of 80 mph, had considerable roof damage to a hotel. The Cobblestone Inn remains closed while construction crews worked to fix it.
About 1.13 inches of rain fell in Carroll during the storm, according to National Weather Service data.
Carroll County was suffering from extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Every month since March has had lower-than-normal rainfall.
In July, about 1.4 inches of rain fell in Carroll, whereas the normal amount of rainfall is 5 inches. Since the end of March, 6.93 inches of rain had fallen in Carroll before the storm, and the normal expected amount was 19.25 inches.
Leiting, of the farmers’ cooperative, said rain from the storm will do little to help the county’s corn crop but could buoy soybeans, which have a later growing season.