Wapello County residents clean up after Wednesday’s storms

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - After a night of storms, residents across Wapello County are cleaning up the damage from the winds and rain. Several large trees have been pushed to the side of streets after falling down last night. Some roofs in rural Wapello County were ripped off sheds and lean-tos.

At one farm, half a roof and some of a wall was torn from a shed. The owner of the farm built the shed over 40 years ago and, looking at the damage, says he doesn’t know if he’ll rebuild. At another nearby property, a 17 x 17 foot building was pulled from the ground and thrown 20 feet over. The owner says miraculously the building is still intact.

On the west side of the county, a hollow shed was carried by the wind last night, getting stopped by a tree before it could fly any farther.

Power poles and lines are down in several spots across Wapello County, resulting in power outages to hundreds of customers in Wapello County who haven’t had electricity since last night.

Wapello County Emergency Management has been working on clearing roads and clean-up, but in a Facebook post the agency actually says Wapello County got lucky compared to some other Iowa counties. The Wapello County Emergency Operations Center is asking for damage reports to assist in cleanup and recovery.

The Ottumwa Airport recorded winds of 82 miles an hour around 8:30 pm last night. The National Weather Service reports the gusts last night were the strongest in any day since 2004. Last night’s winds actually surpass the derecho last year. But the national weather service says the damage would have been much worse if trees would have had leaves on them.

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