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Derecho damages millions of crop acres

Derecho damages millions of crop acres

The storm traveled from South Dakota to Ohio in about 14 hours

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Farmers in the American Midwest are assessing the damage left by a powerful storm that swept through the Corn Belt Monday.

A derecho, defined as “a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms…” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC), flattened about 10 million acres in Iowa, damaged barns and grain bins and left thousands without power.

“The question that remains for all of us is, what happens in the next five or six weeks?” Roger Zylstra, a Jasper County farmer who lost the roofs on four hog barns in addition to crop damage, told the Associated Press. “How much can we salvage out of these fields? I know that some people won’t survive this. But there’s a fair number of people that will figure out how to hang in there, and we’ll keep doing what we do.”

The storm started in South Dakota and traveled through parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Altogether it traveled about 770 miles in 14 hours and brought with it winds up to 100 miles per hour, the SPC said.

Since the storm, Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued disaster declarations in at least 20 counties with more possible as survey damage continues.

“Although it will take days or weeks to know the full scope of damage, initial reports are significant,” she said during a Tuesday briefing. “Rain, hail and high winds caused significant damage to trees, crops, downed power lines and caused structural damage to homes, farm buildings and health-care facilities.” has reached out to the USDA, Iowa Department of Agriculture and industry groups for comment.

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