News Weather

Derecho windstorms rock rural Midwest communities


If you live in the Midwest, you felt the storms from yesterday. Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio felt the intensity of the derecho damage, however, surrounding states received wind damage as well. Rural communities were hit hard by the straight-line winds, especially their crops, barns, houses, and grain bins. 

Up until yesterday, crops were looking good across the Midwest. While some states were in need of a rain, this is not what they had in mind. However, as every farmer and rancher knows, Mother Nature does not care about what you need. The devastating photo below is just one of many scenes from the derecho damage in the Midwest. 

Absolutely flat. This Corn field is from northern Story County, not far from where I grew up near Roland, Iowa.Just sickening.

Posted by Eric Hanson KCCI on Monday, August 10, 2020

According to The Weather Channel, “Derechos are large clusters of thunderstorms that most commonly form in late spring and summer and cause widespread destruction to trees, power lines and sometimes structures. From the Spanish word for ‘straight,’ these windstorms leave wide, long areas of straight-line wind damage. The winds can be as strong as 60 to 100 mph or higher in extreme cases.”

Monday’s storm system started in southeast South Dakota and eastern Nebraska in the morning. From there the destructive winds traveled through Iowa, northern and central Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southwest Michigan, Indiana and northwest Ohio.

This rare storm system is similar to that of a hurricane with the large impact and high winds, but with no eye in the middle. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center says the derecho tracked about 770 miles in 14 hours.

According to, as of Tuesday morning at 7:30, there were still over 1 million homes and businesses out of power in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Indiana.  It is still too early to know any type of structural damage total amounts, but with such a wide area impacted, it will be quite large.

A storm that blew through the Midwest on Monday crumpled grain silos near Luther, Iowa.Photo credit: Jackie Schmillen/WOI

Posted by Feed and Grain Magazine on Monday, August 10, 2020

So far, there have been no official reports of total storm-related injuries, but as more information comes to light, we will keep you updated. Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Victor Gensini told The Associated Press that, “Monday’s derecho will go down as one of the strongest in recent history and be one of the nation’s worst weather events of 2020.”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was hit hard by the derecho system. The local police department reported that about 50 people went to hospitals with storm-related injuries following Monday’s storms. The city also enacted a curfew, starting on Monday night at 10 p.m. and lasting until 6 a.m. today, and it could continue so crews can work to clean up fallen debris.

Not only where farmers trying to weather the coronavirus storm, but now they have to deal with damages from an actual storm and figure out their next step in the year that is shaping up to be one of the most trying in history. 

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