Derecho storm leaves destruction in Iowa

David Baker
Leaves and branches cover the grounds of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, after a widespread, straight-line windstorm known as a ‘derecho’ barreled through Iowa on Aug. 10. About 500,000 Iowans lost power during the storm.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

A widespread, straight-line windstorm known as a “derecho” barreled through Iowa on Aug. 10, leaving about 500,000 Iowans without power, according to

Wind gusts of up to 112 miles per hour downed trees, smashed sheds, flattened crops and damaged homes and buildings along a long stretch of the Midwest, according to The Weather Channel. Injuries were reported in multiple places, and one death in Indiana was attributed to the storm.

Thunderstorms ignited in southeastern South Dakota and eastern Nebraska on Monday morning, but gained strength and evolved into a derecho across central Iowa by midday, according to AccuWeather reports. The worst of the storms focused on a zone from Des Moines through Davenport. At press time, many churches in the Diocese of Davenport were without power as well as St. Ambrose University in Davenport. St. Vincent Center regained power on Aug. 11. Power companies in Iowa said restoration efforts could take multiple days due the unprecedented nature of the weather event. 


The storm traveled about 770 miles in a span of 14 hours, according to the National Weather Service. The storm eased up in Ohio.
For updates on this breaking story go to  www. or follow The Catholic Messenger on Facebook. More information about the storm and its impact in the diocese will be shared in a future edition of The Catholic Messenger.

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