Severe Weather

Storm damage varied among homes on the same street, and so has recovery. The collapsed porch and broken windows appear untouched on one home while the house next door now looks unscathed.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Construction crews are still a regular presence on the north side of Marshalltown, where one year ago an EF-3 tornado carved a path through residential streets and the community’s downtown.

Courtesy of research.noaa.gov

Most of Iowa is under an excessive heat warning, where temperatures will reach in the 90s and heat index values could be as high as 110 degrees.

Courtesy of Sioux County Emergency Management and Fire Rescue

Forecasters have inspected the damage where strong winds hit a highly localized area in northwest Iowa after a heavy storm early Thursday. The estimated 80-miles-an-hour winds damaged one home in Rock Valley, while debris affected others nearby.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

People in nine flood-impacted counties across Iowa now have until mid-July to register for federal help to recover from flooding, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday.

Courtesy of Fremont County Emergency Management

Progress is being made to repair the damage done to levees on the Missouri River by flooding this spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday.

Flickr/OakleyOriginals

The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes touched down in western Iowa Wednesday morning near the towns of Adair and Anita.

Hornick resident Dale Ronfeldt's garage in water in March 2019. A reporter joked with him that he had "lakefront property" and Ronfeldt joked, "you want to buy some?"
Katie Peikes / IPR file

As Iowans apply for federal assistance to help reclaim their flooded homes and businesses, FEMA is hiring temporary workers to help sort through their applications. The disaster agency plans to hire around 60 people to process paperwork and inspect damaged property, among other jobs.

National Weather Service

Another major storm is headed towards the Midwest, and may impact northwestern Iowa Wednesday afternoon and evening. Known as a “bomb cyclone,” or storm that rapidly intensifies, the system will bring rain, snow and winds to the area.

This winter storm is expected to deliver the most snow to Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. The National Weather Service predicts the northwestern part of Iowa will stay warm enough to miss out on some of the heavier snow. However, blowing snow may still cause travel frustrations.

marshalltown tornado
Katarina Sostaric/IPR file

A nonprofit group that rehabilitates homes plans to repair 100 that were devastated in the Marshalltown tornado last July.

Grassley Says Army Corps Actions Made Flooding Worse

Mar 19, 2019
Katie Peikes / IPR

The Midwest has seen record-setting floods this month, and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said it may have been worsened by U.S. Army Corps of Engineering actions.

Grassley says the corps released too much water too early from the Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border. Additionally, the corps several years ago ordered the removal of reinforcements to a levee in Hamburg, Ia, that protected the town from flooding in 2011.

Iowa DOT

After being closed by a blizzard for more than 24 hours, the northbound lanes of I-35 between Ames and the Minnesota border reopened at 5pm Monday.  The southbound lanes reopened at noon Monday.  I-35 had been closed all the way north to Owatonna, Minnesota, about 40 miles north of the border.

Even with the roadway open, officials are warning the conditions that forced the closing Sunday will continue to cause traffic headaches.

Extension Master Gardener

We’ve just endured a polar vortex, which brought wind chills approaching -60F to some parts of Iowa. As the state begins to defrost, it would be nice to think this extreme cold could be a setback for some of our least favorite invasive insects—but will it impact our beloved plants, too? 

National Weather Service, Johnston, Ia.

Iowa’s coldest air in more than 20 years moves into the state Tuesday night. The National Weather Service says wind chill values by Wednesday morning will range from -30 in southern Iowa to -50 in the northern part of the state.  Wednesday morning will see the coldest temperatures and wind chills of this winter blast.

Jeroen Kransen/flickr

 

You heard right. Iowa is expected to be colder than parts of Antarctica on Wednesday, with sub-zero temperatures expected to settle over the state Tuesday night. These will be some of the coldest days since 1996, when sub-zero temperatures lasted for more than 130 hours in much of the state.

marshalltown tornado
Katarina Sostaric/IPR file

Marshalltown schools have been dealing with roof damage to three elementary schools from the July 19th tornado, and the district is finding deeper effects from the extensive damage to the community’s housing and employment.

Marshalltown school superintendent Theron Schutte says the devastation also later scattered families, which means schools have fewer students this year.

“We lost the equivalent of 90 students from our enrollment, after having experienced an increase of about 140 the past two years,” said Schutte.

The Crisis Center of Johnson County / https://www.jccrisiscenter.org/

Residents across eastern Iowa are cleaning up, after severe weather pelted the area Tuesday night. The storm brought hail, flooding rains, and winds upwards of 80 miles per hour, knocking out power to thousands, downing trees and flattening some crops.

Flickr / koschi

Climate change is coming to Iowa, and with it, more frequent and intense storms. During this hour of River to River, we hear stories of severe weather recovery. 

Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer joins to discuss the EF-3 tornado that hit town nearly a month ago, and Angie Crees of Bondurant talks about how her roof lifted up and set back down by an EF-2 tornado the same day.

Dean Borg / IPR

Glenn Van Wyk is clearing debris spit out by the July 19th tornado after ripping through the nearby Vermeer factory and leveling three of his farmstead’s buildings. But he hasn’t yet decided what to do about flattened corn fields littered with steel sheets and other parts of the Vermeer buildings.

Van Wyk estimates about 40-acres is damaged. Maybe a total loss. He and his wife, Denise, farm 160 acres outside Pella, less than a quarter mile from the Vermeer plant’s Global Pavilion.

Kate Payne / IPR

Recovery and rebuilding efforts are already underway at central Iowa manufacturer Vermeer, one day after the corporation's headquarters in Pella took a direct hit from a tornado. Metal siding, downed powerlines and crumpled cars were scattered across the grounds at the agriculture and construction equipment company, but with limited injuries and no fatalities, officials have said they'll come back "stronger than ever."