Tama County hit hard by Monday’s storm, still without power

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:22 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 10:57 PM CDT
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TOLEDO, Iowa (WOWT) - Tama County was hit hard by Monday’s storm. Thousands are expected to be without power for days.

Houses flattened and some roads are nearly impassable. Of the nearly 17,000 residents in Tama County, almost everybody is feeling some effects from the storm.

There’s no calm after the storm in Tama County and Toledo.

Trees need to be pulled off houses -- generators need to keep the lights on.

“Every time we have some sort of major event, we learn from that one and get better for the next,” said Mindy Benson, Tama County Emergency Management coordinator.

The second derecho in 10 years -- this exceeds anything the county could have expected.

“We didn’t know how significant it was going to be,” she said.

The Tama Middle school -- hard hit.

Superintendent Jared Smith is pushing the start of school back by two weeks.

“It’s heartbreaking when you think about the kids and what they’re missing out on,” Smith said.

Olivia Meek was at summer camp inside the middle school just hours before the storm flattened the county.

“Everything was rattling and there was an earthquake,” Olivia said.

Missing the disaster there -- she was home with her family when a tree fell into the home.

“She shut the door and the tree just fell. It was scary because no one knew what to do,” Olivia said.

Her mother Gail Meek counted themselves among the fortunate.

“We’re lucky,” she said.

Waiting her turn for help, she’s paying it forward by delivering lunch to crews on a humid August day.

“It’s what we know, to stick together and help each other out. It don’t matter whether you know them or not, your neighbor, your friend from out of state from out of town, no matter what you’re here to help,” she said.

Powerlines are still down all over the county. There is hope to have power restored this weekend.

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