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Midwest surveys derecho damage

by Esther Eaton
Posted 8/11/20, 04:58 pm

Hundreds of thousands of people lacked power on Tuesday after a line of severe thunderstorms blasted Midwestern states on Monday with 100 mph wind gusts. One woman died in the hospital after rescuers pulled her from a storm-battered mobile home near Fort Wayne, Ind.

How widespread was the damage? Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said the storm flattened an estimated 10 million acres of crops, mostly corn, which represents nearly a third of the state’s farmland. The wind was so strong it drove boards through the walls of a home in Perry, Iowa, narrowly missing the people inside. High winds flipped semitractor-trailers on several Midwestern highways. In Chicago, the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado with winds reaching 110 mph touched down in the city’s North Side. The derecho also downed trees and powerlines and sparked fires in other areas of Chicago.

Dig deeper: Read Leah Hickman’s report on how one Midwest town recovered after a tornado destroyed 600 homes in 2013.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.


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