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100 mph winds hit Maurice,1 injured

By Staff | Jul 30, 2010

DES MOINES – One person suffered a minor injury and many buildings were damaged after a storm slammed into the town of Maurice, in south central Sioux County, early July 22 with winds up to 100 mph.

The storm struck about 12:30 a.m., damaging up to 20 homes and destroying one. The person who was injured was in bed when a window shattered causing minor cuts, said Nate Huizenga, the Sioux County emergency management coordinator. The injured person was treated at the scene.

Homes that were damaged had broken windows and roofs and siding that were blown away. Several homes also were damaged by falling trees, Huizenga said.

“There was little warning and most people were in bed so it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

The cleanup was well under way by mid-afternoon in the town of about 250 people. The Red Cross served lunch to about 200 people who showed up to help.

“There has been a lot of volunteer help,” Huizenga said.

Elsewhere in the county, damage was reported to barns and animal confinement buildings but Huizenga said there were no immediate reports of any animals being injured or killed.

An emergency shelter was set up at the Maurice Community Center but Huizenga said the families that initially stayed there had moved on to stay with friends and family.

The storm continued on into Cherokee County where winds again reached 100 mph, damaging buildings and knocking down trees. No one in Cherokee was hurt.

The damaging winds also snapped power poles and knocked down trees near Peterson.

Heavy rains fell on areas of northwest Iowa, dumping 4 inches of rain in Maurice and at least 5 inches in Fort Dodge, where flash flooding closed U.S. Highway 169 for a while Thursday morning with 2 to 3 feet of water at some intersections. Flash flooding was widespread as heavy rain deluged the region overnight causing numerous road closures in rural areas, including Iowa Highway 4 near Rockwell City.

A co-op building and machine shed were damaged by wind in Pocahontas and numerous trees and branches also were reported down overnight.

The area also remained in the bullseye for potential severe weather overnight Thursday, said Frank Boksa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines. More heavy rain could cause flash flooding and push some rivers and streams over flood stage.

“But it should be pretty quick to rise and quick to fall again,” he said.

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