Picture Pages
Advertising Rates
Contact us
Purchase a photo
Celebration Forms
Submit Event
Submit News
Site Search

Advanced Search
Search Sponsored

home : news : news Saturday, June 25, 2016

6/21/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
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
Area residents still recovering from week of wicked weather

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

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

not activated

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 .

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Passcode: This form will not send your comment unless you copy exactly the passcode seen below into the text field. This is an anti-spam device to help reduce the automated email spam coming through this form.

Please copy the passcode exactly
- it is case sensitive.
Like us on facebook


The Observer • Founded in 1864
“Pledged but to truth, liberty, and law;
no favors win us and no fears shall awe.”

512 Seventh St., PO Box 49, DeWitt, IA 52742 • 563-659-3121
Copyright 2016, DeWitt Observer Publishing Co.
 Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved