A storm known as a derecho swept through the Midwest early this week, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and causing mass devastation in its wake. The storm, with winds as powerful as a hurricane, swept through Iowa and parts of Nebraska, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois on Monday. The winds set off seven tornados in the Chicago area, and many areas in the Midwest were still without power on Wednesday.
Thomas Rowland, 63-year-old man from Iowa, was killed after being struck by a tree, and Isabel E. Atencio, a 73-year-old woman from Indiana, was found dead in her home, clutching her 5-year-old grandson. He survived, suffering minimal injury. “We had quite a few people trapped in buildings and cars,” said homeland security coordinator Kim Elder.
Tens of millions of bushels of grain and tens of millions of miles of crops such as corn and soybeans were destroyed. One farmer, who has worked in Iowa for almost 40 years, said that even with insurance, farmers would be hit hard financially by the destruction. “I know that some people won’t survive this,” he stated.
Officials from a utility company said Wednesday that it could be up to a week until power was fully restored, despite crews working around the clock. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds “issued disaster proclamations” for 23 counties in the state, announcing that those affected could be eligible for emergency housing and food.
IOWA NEEDS HELP. Today will be the 5TH DAY TENS of THOUSANDS of ppl in Cedar Rapids will be without power, cell service (cant call 911), hot water, food, & necessary medical supplies. Local govt has done almost nothing to help & no national news coverage. WE NEED HELP #HELPIOWA pic.twitter.com/A4EHAv3Eli— stin (@AustinMonahan) August 14, 2020