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Storm brings havoc

By Staff | Jul 27, 2012

Thomas Osborne, of Gowrie, sits on his house ramp Thursday morning and looks over his van that was crushed by a falling tree in Wednesday night’s storm.

By HANS MADSEN

“mailto:hmadsen@messengernews.net”>hmadsen@messengernews.net

GOWRIE – The access ramp leading to Thomas Osborne’s home in the 1800 block of Market Street is usually a quiet place for him to sit in the mornings – he might hear singing birds, an occasional car driving by or the noise of children playing in the neighborhood.

Thursday morning he listened to the noise of chainsaws, industrial-sized wood chippers and idling trucks. They were there to remove the large tree that blew over Wednesday night as a thunderstorm with strong straight-line winds, heavy rains and lots of thunder moved through the area.

Sue Crouch, who lives in the residence as well, lost something else under the tree.

Part of a cornfield belonging to Nathan and Brenda Brandes north of Gowrie was flattened.

“My van is demolished,” Crouch said.

The home suffered damage to the gutters and railing along the ramp.

It had been a wild night for the pair.

“All of a sudden, boom,” Thomas Osborne said. “I opened up the door and saw that tree there.”

Still, he looked on the bright side.

“I can still use the ramp,” he said.

Gowrie city worker Ben Elmore was in for a long sweaty day Thursday as he went around town grinding piles of debris with a large wood chipper.

“It’s going to take a long time to clean up,” he said. Few yards in the small community were without at least a few limbs on their lawn.

He appreciated it when help arrived; crews from Dayton, Webster County, Odgen Utilities, Farmers Co-op, as well as Dan Rasmussen, Dave Hoover, and a work crew from Rockwell City Correctional Facility worked around town.

Between Gowrie and nearby Callender, damage to corn fields ranged from leaning stalks to entire fields nearly laid flat.

Nathan and Brenda Brandes, who farm just north of Gowrie, had crops in the flat category.

“We’re waiting for the adjuster,” Brenda Brandes said.

The intense storm led them to take precautions after they saw a wagon being blown across the farm yard.

“We did actually go down our crawl space,” she said.

Pam Perkins, of Callender, has plenty of experience with storms.

“Every time there’s a storm we get hit,” she said.

That includes several basement floodings, hail damage and, from Wednesday night’s storm, a fallen tree that pulled down the wires for the electrical service. It blended into the storm.

“There was so much noise with the lightning that I didn’t realize it,” Perkins said.

Later, she noticed all her neighbors had lights – and she did not.

The force of the wind impressed her. In fact, a small, recently planted tree made an interesting wind gauge, she said.

“It bent over the tree,” Perkins said. “It was almost touching the ground.”

Elsewhere in Callender, In-Line Service had a roof blown off the bodyshop building and several trees fell on a home near the city park.

Callender city worker Jon McCormick had his hands full after the storm too; he had to use a boom truck to take photographs of the roof on one of the city’s pump houses after it was damaged by a falling limb.

He said that there were several electrical services down and that crews from Woodruff Electric were working to repair them.

He lucked out on damage at his home, though.

“Thankfully,” he said, “no.”

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