Iowans Share Their Derecho Memories on the 1-Year Anniversary
It's hard to believe, but it's been one whole year since that devastated derecho ripped through Iowa. For most of us, the memory of the day is forever burned into our brains.
When last year's derecho hit, I was on my way back from Michigan with my dog Tater. We were driving through Illinois, and we had to pull over because the wind was so bad. I had no idea how bad it was in Cedar Rapids until I got a call from Brain. When I finally arrived home later that night, I had to park my car on another street and walk to my house. I was lucky to have minimal damage, but I was fully unprepared for the power outage, since I had been out of town for over a week. Thankfully, I have the kindest neighbors in the world, so I was well-fed with food they cooked on their grill and gas stove. I picked the absolute WORST day to return from vacation!
Since today is the one-year anniversary of the derecho, we want to hear some of your experiences! Who were you with? Where were you? What was your damage like? How have you recovered? We had a ton of responses on Facebook, including some with photos. Here are are few of them:
Thomas Maverick Mcatee
"We heard there was a storm coming, so me and my coworker were gonna park our trucks inside the grain elevator so nothing would happen to them. Well, I had mine in inside and my coworker had to run out to his farm to make sure his cattle were in. The storm came and the doors were down and then blew in and hit some cables, dumping a couple thousand bushels of corn on my truck. It was buried for 7 days until we got power back."
Jodie Kriegel Hanson
"I was at work (daycare) when the sirens went off. I took shelter with children and convinced them it was like camping out. I got them to sleep, all the while not knowing how bad the winds really were."
Megan Marie Laetare
"It was my 28th birthday..."
"My experience was not one I ever want to ever experience again. I got dumped on 30."
"I was on my way from Cedar Rapids after my 3 hour glucose test. I was caught on Highway 30 and was able to pull into somebody’s driveway. The wind was too strong for me make it into their house, so I stayed in my car throughout the whole storm. Luckily, where I parked was able to shield me from the worst of the wind."
"Just received our purchase agreement for new home that morning. Spent all weekend painting and getting house ready for showing that night. Then it all changed."
"I was home with my husband. Close to $40,000 in damage. Still waiting for siding and windows to be replaced."
"In my van exiting 380 at Wilson."
"I ended up going into labor that night around 10 p.m.! No cell service and driving through an obstacle course to get to the hospital was eventful! Was 2 weeks early. Had a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Will never forget!"
"Came home to this..."
"My 13-year-old and I were in Cedar Rapids for the day. As the clouds came in and the wind picked up, we headed to the Lindale Mall parking ramp. Definitely very scared, we climbed to the back of my SUV on the floor. Our car was shaking, trees were bent over, benches were flying across the road. After all passed, driving home was devastating. Our normal 30 minute drive home was 90 minutes. Thankfully, we were ok and our home and town were. Something we will never forget. We spent the next few days helping our family clean up from their damage."
"Spent the entire storm in a FedEx truck, literally got lifted off the ground a few times and had a stream of water running through the truck! When it was over, not knowing what has really happened, I made my last 10 deliveries, and the looks on the customers' faces when I showed up was pure shock!"
David James Sheets
"I was in anechoic chamber doing measurements, when a tech started talking about 110 mph winds on 30. Naturally, I assumed that was B.S. until I saw weather radar. After the storm passed, I went outside. This hawk was sitting at the edge of the building's overhang with the attitude of 'what the hell happened?'"
"My daughter was born at about 7:30 a.m. As first time parents, we were already nervous, and it made everything a lot worse. We didn't know just how bad it was. I had to drive back to Monticello and do evening chores, luckily there was no damage there. The hospital isn't set up for a storm like that (who is?), but the one thing that bothered me was they didn't have warm water for days. We came home a day early so Sara could bathe, plus we had no damage at home."
If you have a derecho story to share, you can do so in the comments below!