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Storms whip through area

By Staff | Mar 9, 2017

This WALL?CLOUD photo was taken in Kossuth County by Jacob Zittritsch and posted on the Kossuth County Emergency Management Facebook page.

By CHAD THOMPSON, JOE SUTTER and BILL SHEA

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

A violent storm system bringing hail and rain driven by high winds tore through the Farm News region Monday evening, spawning a tornado in southern Webster County and leaving hundreds of people, including much of Webster City, without power.

The tornado was reported northeast of Harcourt.

Damage was reported south of 350th Street between Oak Avenue and Nelson Avenue, according to Scott Forbes, Webster County emergency management coordinator.

Crews wait for a nearby power line to be moved Tuesday afternoon at a hog facility on 350th Street between Oak and Nelson Avenues in southern Webster County so they can load the hogs into trucks for transport to another facility. The roof and part of the buildings wall were blown off Monday evening when a small tornado touched down briefly.

“We had a debris path that went northeast and it crossed the road on Oak Avenue between 350th Street and 360th Street and continued into the field northeast, but did not go across Paragon Avenue,” Forbes said.

An estimated four power lines were taken out along 350th Street, Forbes said.

The Dayton Police Department and Webster County Sheriff’s Department blocked off 350th Street.

MidAmerican Energy was on scene Monday night.

Dayton firefighters and the regional Hazmat team from the Fort Dodge Fire Department were dispatched to 350th Street and Oak Avenue at 7:07 p.m. to deal with a leaking propane tank.

Large amounts of hail were alo reported throughout Webster County.

Forbes reported the ground in Lehigh was covered in hail.

Gowrie also had reports of hail, Forbes said.

Forbes estimated that southern Webster County was likely hit the hardest.

The National Weather Service reported the largest wind gust that was in Fort Dodge was clocked at 40 mph. That reading came in at about 5 p.m. on the north side of Fort Dodge.

A large portion of Webster City was left without power during the storm.

The electricity went out at about 6 p.m. and remained out until about 8 p.m.

Pea-sized hail was reported in Webster City. Flooded roads and downed tree limbs were also reported there.

Two blocks of Ohio Street in Webster City were closed when a tree toppled and pulled down power lines. Trees were also knocked down at the intersection of Elm and Prospect streets, near the Webster City Middle School.

Large trees were uprooted in Graceland Cemetery on the southwest side of Webster City.

MidAmerican Energy reported 205 customers without power in the Fort Dodge area as of 5:45 p.m.

Midland Power Cooperative reported 38 customers in Webster County without power through its online outage map. Prairie Energy Co-op reported 19 without power in Webster County.

A recording on the phones at Midland’s offices indicated there were a large number of customers impacted, including in Gowrie and Jefferson. More information was not available Monday night.

Melody Larson, Humboldt County emergency management coordinator, reported golf ball-sized hail in Humboldt and pea-sized hail in Renwick.

She said the hail caused property damage to vehicles within the county, including hers.

Larson didn’t believe the winds were as strong in Humboldt as some other areas.

No tornadoes were reported in Humboldt County.

The storm moved across Kossuth County at about 70 mph, according to David Penton, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

”The storm came through pretty quick,” he said. ”It cooked across the county.”

Penton said the west central part of the county, including Whittemore, Fenton and Lone Rock, was hit the hardest.

He said unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds north of Algona and north of Titonka caused warning sirens to be activated throughout the county.

Penton added that heavy rain and golf-ball sized hail were reported.

In Calhoun County, the Sheriff’s Department reported wind damage. Some stop signs were blown over and a door on a grain bin was torn off.

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