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Morning twilight

Storm causes power outages, downed trees

June 25, 2013
By PETER KASPARI and JOE?SUTTER (editor@messengernews.net) , Messenger News

Webster County residents were forced to seek shelter Monday morning after a summer thunderstorm rolled through the area.

The storm front, which caused a severe thunderstorm warning to be issued for Webster County, caused a number of problems including flooded streets and power outages.

MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Abby Bottenfield said the storm caused 1,481 customers to lose power around 12:29 p.m.

Article Photos

This view from Central Avenue taken mid morning on Monday shows how the skies darkened during the brief heavy rainfall which also caused power outages.

By 2 p.m., that number was down to 147 without power.

"We hope to have them back up soon," Bottenfield said. "We're working as safely and as efficiently as possible to restore power to those affected by today's storms."

She added MidAmerican was dealing with outages across the state and not just in the Webster County area.

"Wind, lightning and heavy rains can bring down power lines or trees down on top of power lines," Bottenfield said. "Throughout the state most of our customers have been affected by trees."

Tony Jorgensen, Webster County Emergency Management coordinator, said there had been no major problems reported in the county.

While he didn't have the exact amount of rainfall in the county, he did say it was unlikely to be enough to request individual assistance from the government.

"You would have to be looking at major damage in order to receive assistance," he said. "That would be considered something like water coming up to your doorknob or the collapse of foundations or basement walls. It would also have to hit a certain number of homes."

However, he added he didn't believe any homes in the county received that much damage.

Meanwhile, trees in certain parts of town took a beating from damaging winds Sunday.

A large tree in their backyard fell on the home of John and Virginia Jones, at 233 Ave. D, while they were away at church.

"It was over the front of the house when we came home," John Jones said.

The tree had split and a large limb rested against the roof of their two-story house. On Monday, Jones said three loads of branches had already been hauled away, but most of the tree was still there.

"We've lived here 47 years, and it was big when we got here," he said.

Tree crews could be seen throughout the neighborhood Monday morning, responding to other damage.

The damage was limited to certain areas, said city forester Kevin Lunn.

"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be after I saw it go by my house," Lunn said. "There were a couple trees down on houses, and a couple on cars."

The west side of town, particularly the D Street area, was hit the worst, he said, but there was spotty damage all over, such as a number of places near Cooper Elementary School, 2420 14th Ave. N.

"After the wind we were out about four hours (Sunday)," Lunn said. "We're up to probably 35 to 40 stops at this point. On a bad storm, we'll have 400 to 500 stops, so this isn't too bad."

Webster County Conservation Director Matt Cosgrove said there was one good-sized tree knocked down in Kennedy Park, but nothing major. He hadn't heard of any serious damage in Dolliver or the other county parks.

A big hackberry tree at the southeast corner of the city square was also split, Lunn said. That tree will have to come down.

"This is the second incident. About three years ago, one side fell off, and this year the other side fell off, so there's not a lot left to it," he said. "You wouldn't want to leave it like this."

 
 

 

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