Mahaska Spared The Worst

A park bench on the square in downtown Oskaloosa was damaged when a portion of a tree landed on it during Monday’s storm.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The first sign of trouble for the Mahaska County area came just after 9 am when the National Weather Service in Des Moines issued a severe thunderstorm watch.

A large violent thunderstorm formed in western Iowa, marching its way across the state, creating a derecho that generated winds in excess of 100 miles per hour in places.

Locally, the National Weather Service says that 75 mph winds were measured in Leighton.

The damage sustained locally was mainly to trees, which fell on power lines and cars and did some structural damage to homes.

Mahaska County Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Josh Stevens helped coordinate a Mahaska County CERT response to Barnes City to help open up local infrastructure.

Stevens explained that Emergency Management had spent the morning working with local fire departments to help coordinate efforts.

“So far, we’ve got fairly minor tree and limb damage,” explaining that those limbs found their way into the power grid, causing lines to become tangled with branches.

When it came to the storm’s wind speed, Stevens explained that wind speeds varied depending on location. The rain fell nearly the same way, heavy in some places, and almost none in others.

Over at the Oskaloosa Fire Department, they were getting down to the business of filing all the reports from those calls for help.

Some calls were easy, such as tree limbs in the roadway, while live power lines, especially some major power lines, caused extra caution.

The department saw damage mostly from the tree limbs, some landing on cars, homes, and “We had a major tree go down in an alley that completely took out power lines and landing on a garage. It did quite a bit of damage to the garage,” explained Oskaloosa Firefighter Mark Tennison.

Later in the afternoon, the Disaster Response Team from New Sharon Fire, Mahaska Emergency Management, Oskaloosa Fire, CERT, and others made the trip to Tama to help that community recover. There they cleared roads so that emergency and power crews could help restore electricity, and emergency crews could reach those in need.

Posted by on Aug 11 2020. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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