By KENT THOMPSON
Humboldt County was hit with numerous intense storms early Tuesday evening, April 12, two were confirmed tornadoes and others were wall clouds with rotation that did not touch down. Fortunately, no injuries were reported related to the intense thunderstorms on Tuesday evening.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a message from the National Weather Service following their storm assessment Wednesday that two tornadoes touched down in Humboldt County early Tuesday evening.
One was located between Gilmore City and Humboldt and rated an EF1 with wind speeds around 100 miles per hour.
The second was east of Bradgate and was rated EF2 with winds around 120 miles per hour. He removed the roof from a house at 1509 170th Street (County Road C-26).
Exactly five miles to the south, one of the most distinctive Gothic arched roof barns in the county was struck. The barn owned by Gary Nilles at 2196 Florida Avenue had the north wall sucked inside the mower and several pieces of metal ripped out.
“I’m less than a mile north and haven’t had any damage,” Nilles said of his home.
“We knocked down a tree and a power line which destroyed the electric fence for the buffalo. I have a 1,500 gallon tank in a farm shed north of the barn and he blew it a quarter mile in the middle of the field,” Nilles reports.
There were numerous other reports of property damage from high winds or hail that ranged from the size of a pea to 2 1/2 inches, according to reports from residents of the Gilmore City and Lu Verne areas.
Humboldt County Sheriff Dean Kruger said the first alert was sent at 5:26 p.m., saying Humboldt County was under a tornado watch. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 5:47 p.m., with winds of 60 miles per hour and quarter-inch hail.
A tornado warning was issued at 6 p.m., and the first funnel entering the county was reported at 6:13 p.m. Storm spotters reported winds in excess of 80 miles per hour. Another tornado warning was issued at 7:15 p.m., and the county remained under a tornado watch until midnight.
“We take our guidance from the National Weather Service and our number one priority is citizen safety. We sounded the sirens several times,” Kruger said. He said the county has been conducting emergency alert siren testing at noon on Saturdays for a month. “The only one that doesn’t work is Hy-Capacity.
“Detrick Electric was going to fix it but it was too windy that day, but we know that and will get it fixed,” Kruger said.
The sheriff had a dual role, also serving as the county’s emergency management coordinator. A job he has been doing since last year. The county is advertising for a new coordinator.
Leo Reigelsberger’s acreage 3.75 miles southeast of Gilmore City on Elm Avenue was hit hard. A large Sukup grain silo was ripped from its mounting bracket and thrown an eighth of a mile or more to the side of Reigelsberger’s house.
“When the trash can hit the house, I thought the garage door had collapsed. Our ears popped and it sounded like a freight train.
“We lost our barn, the entire fence around the barn, an enclosed utility trailer containing toys (snowmobiles), and the west end of the machine shed,” Reigelsberger said. He expected to hear from the adjuster on Wednesday morning.
Midland Power Cooperative reported that 874 customers in Humboldt County suffered power outages due to the storm, all of which were restored by 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Corn Belt Power has not reported any member consumers without power. MidAmerican Energy crews were working on replacing poles and lines along Iowa Avenue south of Bode on Wednesday. At 5 p.m., the company reported that three customers in the county had lost power.
Look for the full report and more photos in the April 21 Humboldt Independent, your trusted source for local news and sports.
Humboldt County considered a disaster
On Wednesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for seven counties in response to the April 12 inclement weather. The governor’s proclamation authorizes the use of state resources to respond to and recover from the effects of the severe weather in Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Humboldt, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Winneshiek and Worth counties.
In addition, the proclamation activates Iowa’s Individual Assistance Grant Program for eligible residents, as well as the Disaster Management Program.
The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 to households with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, clothing or food replacement, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those claiming reimbursement for actual storm recovery expenses. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Social Services website at https://dhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs. Prospective applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.
The disaster management program responds to serious needs related to hardship, injury or adverse conditions related to the disaster. Disaster case managers work with customers to create a disaster recovery plan and provide advice, guidance, and a referral to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor’s proclamation. For more information about the disaster management program, contact your local community action association or visit www.iowacommunityaction.org.