What Is a Derecho?

What a Monday! I had no idea when I woke up this morning with the sun shining in my window that the day would take such a quick turn. By 11am, tornado sirens were blaring all over the metro and the skies looked threatening. Soon after the skies turned as dark as dusk, the wind picked up and picked up and picked up and then it started literally picking up trees and branches and power lines and stop lights and everything else not tied down. It turns out, Iowa was attached by a derecho. What exactly is a derecho?

First of all derecho is pronounced duh rey coh. A derecho is a widespread long lived wind storm associated with rain and thunderstorms. It's capable of producing damage similar to a tornado, but the path is straighter than a tornado. It was crazy to see this storm literally move through the states of Iowa and Nebraska into Missouri and Illinois. It's currently headed to Indiana. It left over 400,000 people in Iowa (over 100,000 in the Des Moines/Ames area) without power. Did you get a chance to drive around today? The power outages were hard to navigate. Two stoplights out, two on, two more out, two more on, trees down in one neighborhood, twigs in another.

The clean up will be massive. Most municipalities are offering curbside pick up of debris this month. Check with your city hall for their plans.

Click here for a map of the current power outages. MidAmerican Energy says the priority in restoring power goes to hospitals and places where many people are affected.

What a crazy day... and.... year.

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