Wicked weather wreaks havoc in area

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This RV and building didn’t fare well east of Monona. (Photo provided by Steve Hanson)

Cleanup was underway soon after the machine shed on the Leon and Kim Trappe farm, east of Monona, was destroyed on May 17. (Photo provided by Kim Trappe)

“There was tin hanging all over the place,” said Kim Trappe of her property near Monona. “Most of the shed hit the house.” Kim said, when the adjustor came to her home, “with the way the damage looked, he said there was probably some rotation to it.” (Photo provided by Kim Trappe)

This shed near Farmersburg sits precariously after straight-line wind and rain whipped through the area late Wednesday afternoon, May 17. (Photo provided by Laci Meng)

This 60-foot hackberry tree came down in Richard and Dianne Pettit’s yard, near the Great River Care Center in McGregor, on May 17. It fell onto a wood shed and into a fenced enclosure where Richard has Muscovy ducks and other birds. (Photo provided by Michelle Pettit)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Wicked weather swept across the area early last week, leaving uprooted trees, damaged buildings and soggy ground in its wake.

The first bout hit Monday evening, May 15, producing large hail, damaging wind and even a short-lived EF0 tornado near Calmar, according to the National Weather Service in La Crosse. 

In Monona, 1.25-inch-sized hail was reported, along with winds of 65 mph. A farmer near Luana said the wind lifted his barn and deposited it several feet away, trapping some cattle inside.

On Wednesday, May 17, two lines of storms moved through the region, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. Both lines brought strong winds and rain to the area, but the first round, in late afternoon, left more of an impact on northeast Iowa. 

North of Farmersburg, law enforcement reported downed power lines and trees, as well as damage to a home due to falling trees.

East of Monona, one mile off B45, the farm of Leon and Kim Trappe was also hit. The two were sitting in their home when straight-line wind and rain started, Kim said. She recalled watching her bug zapper outside, wondering if it would withstand the storm.

“Then we saw the fire pit go by,” she said.

Soon, the home was smacked by debris, which they later discovered was the machine shed. Two windows were broken and seven others damaged, while siding on two sides of the home will need to be replaced, Kim said.

When they looked outside afterward, “there was tin hanging all over the place,” Kim said. “Most of the shed hit the house.”

Some pieces, however, were sent across a large cornfield, clear to B45, she noted.

Power poles were also left leaning.

Kim said, when the adjustor came to her home, “with the way the damage looked, he said there was probably some rotation to it.”

Luckily, she shared, no one was hurt.

“I hope to never go through this again,” she said.

Others in the area, from Monona to McGregor, also documented destroyed buildings, damaged homes, a crumpled RV and toppled trees.

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