Monthly Archives: June 2014

Torrential Rain Causes Significant Flooding in Iowa

Heavy downpours of rain that fell across the eastern portion of Iowa have resulted in some significant flooding. High overnight rain totals left many residents forced to face dealing with flood damage as more rain is being forecast. The heavy rain started falling Sunday night around the Cedar Rapids area, resulting in sewer backups and the washout of numerous roadways.

Rescue crews spent most of Sunday night assisting motorists who were stranded in flood-waters. Many people had to abandon their vehicles as the flash flooding occurred quickly. Many vehicles are still sitting in water early Monday on numerous roads across the Cedar Rapids area. Multiple roadways are completely washed away which has prompted road officials to detour traffic. People are being advised to take it slowly on their commutes to and from work Monday as many roads have standing water and more rain is being forecast to come down.

Sunday night, flooding forced the closure of the emergency department at Cedar Rapids’ Medical Center. Patients were either discharged or moved to other departments in the facility after rainwater entered the building through the emergency entrance. The roof of the medical center also sustained some damage from the rain that drenched portions of eastern Iowa Sunday night through Monday morning.

Several twisters were reported as heavy rainfall and hail pounded many parts of the state of Iowa. At least six tornadoes were seen by spotters Sunday. The wind was gusting at about 60 miles per hour Sunday in Madison County which tore the roof off a building and did damage to many trees as well as a home near the town of Otho. In nearby Harrison County, hailstones the size of baseballs came down briefly.

The Cedar River in Cedar Rapids rose over two feet in just about three hours time Sunday. Many residents and motorists alike were caught off guard by the flooding that took place. A spokesman for the city of Cedar Rapids said that every part of the city experienced some type of flash flooding as water was rushing through many neighborhoods. Some cars and trucks that were parked actually were swept down the streets or up into people’s yards from the very fast moving floodwater.

Residents of Midwest Urged to Be Ready for Severe Weather

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service was urging residents of the Midwest to be prepared for the possibility of severe thunderstorms. The line of severe thunderstorms that’s moving into the region could trigger heavy, flooding rainfall, strong gusting winds and even tornadoes. It also could bring with it large hail that could do extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.

Weather services across the Midwest were telling people that “dangerous” weather was on its way to the region. TV and radio meteorologists were warning that the severe weather was packing large hail and heavy rains which threatened a large swatch of the Midwest. The National Weather Service stated that the highest risk areas were in parts of Nebraska (eastern and northern), in southern Iowa and in the northern reaches of Missouri.

Tornado watches and warnings were already issued Tuesday night in parts of Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Hailstones the size of baseballs fell in Nebraska Tuesday, shattering numerous windows in homes and vehicles. The hail stones were so large and powerful that they made 3-inch wide holes in many windshields and large, deep dents in hoods and roofs of cars.

A severe thunderstorm siren was sounded in Omaha, NE mid-afternoon on Tuesday when bad weather moved into that city. Tornado spotters reported a tornado on the ground in central Nebraska. That twister touch down will not be confirmed until Wednesday morning when officials can assess damage.

The NWS said that 35 million people were in the risk zone for severe weather including tornadoes. However, the risk for tornadoes was expected to be lower Wednesday although they were still possible. People in cities such as Chicago and Detroit were being told to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday as the line of severe thunderstorms was heading their way. The severe weather is likely to bring with it high gusting winds that could reach speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. If that does occur in large Midwestern metropolitan areas Wednesday, millions of people could be without power as winds that strong can take down trees and powerlines.