“It is what it is.”: Derecho Hammers Corn Belt

August 11, 2020

“It is what it is.”


A derecho – a dangerous, ferocious wall of wind that’s like an inland hurricane – lashed 700 miles across the Midwest on Monday, flipping cars, downing trees, causing widespread property damage and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands.

The derecho lasted several hours, traveling through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, a woman died at a hospital after firefighters pulled her from debris inside her mobile home after high winds rolled it onto its side Monday night.

A 63-year-old bicyclist also died after he was struck by one of several large trees that fell Monday on a bike trail outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, near Ely, the Linn County sheriff’s office said.

So far, dozens of injuries but no other fatalities have been reported. 

Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Victor Gensini called the derecho one of the worst weather events in the U.S. in 2020. “This is our version of a hurricane,” he added.

In order to be classified as a derecho, the storm must include wind gusts of at least 58 mph and its wind damage swath must extend from 250 to 400 miles. The term “straight-line wind damage” sometimes is used to describe derecho damage.

“They are basically self-sustaining amoebas of thunderstorms,” Gensini said. “Once they get going like they did across Iowa, it’s really hard to stop these suckers.”

In all, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said there were over 500 severe-weather reports across the Midwest on Monday. This included a gust of wind in Midway, Iowa, that measured 112 mph. 

Video below pretty interesting at 3:30.

2 Responses to ““It is what it is.”: Derecho Hammers Corn Belt”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “Video below”?

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    Creamed corn.

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