Dickinson County, IA, StormReady Status Credited with Minimizing Disaster
On July 17, 2010, Dickinson County, IA, was struck by damaging winds. Thankfully no one lost their lives or was injured during the storm. Many residents and the Emergency Manager credited the NWS for the advance warning. Local media credited NWS along with the county being StormReady as the main reasons why there were no casualties.
A storm survey conducted by NWS Sioux Falls, SD, which covers this part of Iowa, documented widespread damage across most of the "Great Lakes" area of Dickinson County in northwest Iowa. The greatest amount of damage occurred along a line from Montgomery to Triboji, and finally to West Okoboji. Most of the damage was done to trees and boats, but also a few farm out buildings and storage sheds were either severely damaged or destroyed. All of the damage that occurred was a result of very strong winds associated with a severe thunderstorm that moved through the area Saturday evening, July 17 from 10:15 pm to 11:30 pm CDT. Sustained winds of 50 to 60 mph, along with gusts to 80 to 100 mph occurred for a prolonged period of time. In some cases, residents reported experiencing these strong winds for 20 minutes. Despite the strong winds and all of the damage that occurred, there were no deaths or injuries reported to local authorities.
Warnings were issued for this area of Dickinson county beginning at 10:04 PM CDT Saturday evening and continued through 11:40 PM CDT. Numerous residents reported hearing the warnings and took shelter before the storm hit and credited the National Weather Service in issuing the life-saving warnings.
The Great Lakes area of northwest Iowa is a very popular vacation location for people all around the Midwest. On weekends, the population of this area increases dramatically with many people enjoying water recreational activities. Besides being a popular area for vacations, the Great Lakes area including Dickinson county, has been recognized by the National Weather Service as being a StormReady community and county.In order for a community or county to be recognized as StormReady, there are a number of requirements that need to be met by the community or county. A few examples include having outdoor warning sirens or other methods to notify residents of warnings, as well as working closely with the National Weather Service.