[Masthead] Fair ~ 48°F  
High: 74°F ~ Low: 55°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Storm dumps up to 12 inches of rain, wreaks havoc at Alta cemetery

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Another round of thunderstorms moved into the Buena Vista County area early Wednesday, with pounding rains and high winds.

Local rainfall averages ranged from about 3.5 inches in Storm Lake to 5.5 inches in Aurelia to 9 inches near Peterson. Milford resident Jay Simonson reported 12 inches of rain overnight.

Wind damage was extensive throughout Storm Lake as city crews and homeowners removed trees and large branches from yards and streets. A large limb blocked the street in the 700 block of Hudson while at 211 Geneseo a driveway was blocked where Kris Ridgway said wind heavily damaged a 100-year-old maple for the second time in two weeks.

Storm Lake police were busy Tuesday night with traffic control as flash flooding on streets brought water up to car doors on Erie Street with storm sewers unable to handle the heavy volume of water. Flash flood warnings extended until late Tuesday night for Buena Vista County.

The Woodlawn Cemetery east of Alta was heavily devastated by what appeared to have been a tornado, though no residents reported having seen a twister. Large cedar and spruce trees were uprooted, some twisted off near the ground, and headstones were thrown as far as 60 feet. Cleanup crews were at the cemetery Wednesday to take care of the debris.

A flash flood warning was issued until midday for Emmet and Palo Alto counties, which reported 5-8 inches of rain in 24 hours, the National Weather Service said.

Thunderstorms erupted across northern Iowa Tuesday night, dumping 3-5 inches of rain across the region. More storms hit the area overnight.

In the Emmet County town of Armstrong, some residents were sandbagging just in case, sheriff's dispatcher Sue Zitterich said.

"We've got flooding all over the place," she said. "I don't have any particulars but I do know that Armstrong and some of the low-lying areas are sandbagging."

Zitterich said no evacuations had been ordered and there were no reports of injuries - just a lot of rain and wind.

Numerous creeks were overflowing. City streets in Armstrong and Wallingford reported street flooding, Zitterich said.

The rain started Tuesday afternoon and was still coming down Wednesday morning, but not as hard, she said.

"It's been terrible all night," Zitterich said.

Heavy rain also fell in neighboring Palo Alto County, but sheriff dispatcher Tanya Halverson in Emmetsburg said no major problems had been reported.

"We have a few streets here in town that are kind of flooded over but nothing untravelable," she said.

In Clay County, KICD-AM in Spencer reported more than 6 inches of rain had fallen at its studios, and there were reports of water over several county roads.

A flood watch was issued until Wednesday afternoon for several counties in northern Iowa, where 1-3 more inches of rain was possible, the weather service said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: