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|6/21/2014 ||Email this article Print this article |
Area residents still recovering from week of wicked weather
|In . . . A 2x4 pierced through the siding at the home of Bob and Dana Gannon, whose farm is located northeast of Welton. The piece of wood was from a 60x100 machine shed destroyed by Monday night’s storm. Contributed photo
By Kate Howes
Matt and Amy Boeckmann figured there would be some damage to their farm located west of Wheatland just south of U.S. 30 as a result of Monday night's storm.
But they had no idea just how much.
"We didn't think it would be that bad," Amy relates.
The couple's insurance adjuster said it was straight-line winds that caused their camper to be tipped on its side and damage to grain legs, harvesters and grain bins.
The couple lives on Matt's grandparents' farm, Joe and Bev Mente, who happen to live next door and woke up to a mess of their own Tuesday morning.
A tree limb went through one of the windows of their house and two pierced the roof of their garage.
The Mentes also had to rescue five cows from a barn that had blown over.
"Thankfully, they all survived," Amy says. "We are very thankful no one was hurt and for all of the help we had cleaning up."
Not only was it a week of wild weather, but it also was widespread, affecting people in all areas of Clinton County.
While some residents had nothing more than measurable rainfall, others endured power outages and substantial property damage.
Dana Gannon lives with her husband, Bob, and their two sons on a farm northeast of Welton.
Bob was out of town on business and Dana and her children took refuge in their basement when the severe weather alert application on her cellphone signaled the warning.
"I didn't realize the damage until I came upstairs about 5:45 a.m. (Tuesday)," she recalls. "I was too nervous to go up before then with the boys and didn't feel I should leave them for any period of time."
The Gannons' 60x100-foot machine shed was destroyed by the high winds. A 2x4 from the building went through the siding of their house and through the wall of the closet in their master bedroom.
"Our farm has never had this much damage to it," Dana says. "We get pretty strong winds at our place with no protection. A neighbor thought it was a tornado. The way the steel was twisted, you would think it was. The sounds Mother Nature makes are unreal."
The National Weather Service says there were no tornadoes confirmed in the area. However, representatives describe the damaging winds as "downbursts," or strong, ground level wind systems that emanate from a single source and blow in a straight line in all directions from that source.
While downbursts can be confused with tornadoes, they are quite different. Tornadoes produce high velocity winds that circle a central point, moving inward and upward. In a downburst, winds are directed downward and then outward from the surface landing point.
Outdoor warning sirens
When the severe storm system moved through Clinton and surrounding counties Monday night into Tuesday, the Clinton County outdoor warning sirens were not activated.
While it caused a lot of confusion, Eric Dau, communications manager for Clinton County Communications, says for severe weather events there are several triggers that warrant activating the warning sirens.
The triggers include a severe thunderstorm warning with winds of 70 miles per hour or greater, issued by the National Weather Service; a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service; and a tornado spotted and reported by a trained weather spotter.
The warning sirens also may be activated if there are reports of significant damage occurring due to weather or reports of life-threatening conditions outside.
The night of June 16, there were several severe thunderstorm warnings issued for Clinton County by the National Weather Service. However, none of the warnings included winds at speeds of 70 miles per hour or greater.
"We began to receive reports of damage after the storm had passed," Dau explains. "It was too late to activate the outdoor warning sirens."
He says as a reminder, the outdoor warning sirens are intended to warn people who are outside that it is not safe to be outdoors. When sirens are activated, it simply means it's not safe outside, so go inside.
Once inside, residents are encouraged to find out more information about why the sirens were activated. The outdoor warning systems are not designed to warn people in their homes of impending danger. Weather radios, cellphones, television and Internet all are ways to receive warnings inside the home.
Questions and concerns may be directed to Chance Kness, Clinton County Emergency Management Agency coordinator, at 563-242-5712, or .
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