On Thursday, July 22nd, the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls completed a storm survey of the damage that resulted from very strong winds during the early morning Thursday. Widespread damage was seen across portions of northwest Iowa. There were three locations that received most of the significant damage and hence were the focus of the damage survey. The three locations were Maurice in Sioux County, Cherokee in Cherokee county, and the Petersen area in Buena Vista County. Most of the damage was done to trees, but there were a few homes or outbuildings that were also damaged or destroyed. All of the damage that occurred was a result of very strong winds associated with a squall line that moved through the area early Thursday morning from 12:30 AM to 1:30 AM CDT. Wind gusts of 80 to 100 mph occurred as this squall line moved to the east-southeast. Despite these strong winds and all of the damage that occurred, there was only one reported injury within the town of Maurice. That person was treated and released from the local hospital.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for the areas, but many local residents reported not hearing the warning as many of them were in bed. This event again underscores the need for NOAA Weather Radios and the need for people to heed severe thunderstorm warnings. As can be seen with the damage in all three of these locations, strong straight line winds can cause just as much, if not more, damage than most of the tornadoes. Residents were also curious why the outdoor warning sirens were not activated before the storm hit and that's due to many communities choosing not to activate the sirens for severe thunderstorms. People are encouraged to become familiar with their community's siren policy.
If you have any further questions concerning this report or the damage that occurred on July 22nd, please feel free to contact Todd Heitkamp at (605) 330-4247. Todd is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, SD.
Map & Photos of the Maurice Area
Note: Walls were only toe-nailed into foundation and the roof was toe-nailed into the walls.
Map & Photos of the Cherokee Area
Map & Photos of Petersen Area