Another wave of severe thunderstorms are moving into northwest Iowa.
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have been issued for Ida, Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux, and adjacent counties in South Dakota, until 8 p.m. 70 miles per hour winds and ping pong ball-sized hail are possible with these storms.
Storm reports from the area late this afternoon and evening include:
The National Weather Service says Severe Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated at 70 m.p.h. were at Elk Point, S.D.,West of Jefferson, S.D., a 69 m.p.h. wind at the Sheldon airport; and an estimated 80 m.p.h. wind south of Little Rock, Iowa.
Damage reports from the storms included multiple semi-trucks flipped between Elk Point and Jefferson; Large branches and power lines down northwest of Sioux City; Trees uprooted or snapped, and a roof blown off near Little Rock; and several homes and outbuildings completely destroyed southwest of Rock Valley.
Sioux County Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga says power lines and trees were blown down in scattered areas of the county, mainly from Hawarden to Rock Valley, and west of Orange City. Straight line winds were the most likely cause of the damage.
Around 5:15 p.m., sirens sounded in Orange City and Alton, due to the damaging winds reported west of those communities..
Spring is turning to summer in a hurry.
Record-breaking heat, and high humidities are expected today across the KLEM listening area. Heat Indexes this afternoon into early evening are expected in the mid to upper 90s from Storm Lake to Yankton, and from Sioux City to Sioux Falls.
Remember to take safety precautions in this weather…drink plenty of fluids, and avoid alcohol…wear sunscreen and take frequent breaks if working outdoors…and check on family and pets.
There will be an enhanced risk of severe weather late this afternoon and evening across all of northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska.
The National Weather Service says scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop west of I-29 in the late afternoon. Storms should evolve into a squall line which will move quickly east toward I-29, and into northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota in the early evening.
Damaging wind gusts to 75 mph will be the primary threat, while hail up to ping pong ball size and perhaps a tornado are also possible. The strongest storms should move east of out of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa by 11pm or midnight.
Wednesday, high temperatures around the area were in the lower 90s. Le Mars, Maurice, Cherokee and Storm Lake reached 91 degrees. It was 92 in Sioux City. The stronger storms yesterday in northwest Iowa caused several power outages in Sioux County, mainly in Rock Valley, where some 2000 MidAmerican Energy customers were affected. Outages also hit Alton, and rural areas around Orange City and Sioux Center. Most had power restored within an hour.
BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE
An Iowa Congressman co-authored legislation which would relieve a shortage of baby formula in the US.
U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra and Oklahoma Congresswoman Stephanie Bice introduced the Formula Act. This bill would direct the Food and Drug Administration to establish clear standards to regulate domestically produced infant formula.
This bill comes in response to the scarcity of formula at supermarkets, caused by the shutdown of Abbott Laboratories. The company halted production over concerns that their product was infected with bacteria. Abbott manufactures 15% of the nation’s infant formula. The shortages are made worse because the US does not import foreign infant formula. The FDA does not have safety standards in place.
Two brothers from Sioux Center have been declared Domino Masters, in a broadcast aired on Fox TV last night. Derek and Alex Koops, and their friend Lyle Broughton from Massachusetts, made up Team Dominerds in this competion.
Derek said the pressure on their team grew with each level of competition.
They had to keep coming up with spectacular domino displays
Derek said their domino builds were a combination of new ideas with some tried and true ones.
Brother Alex says they have worked together on domino builds for a long time.
Alex early on thought his team would travel far in the competition. But the finale was a trial for the Dominerds.
Production of Domino Masters took place last year, wrapping up in June
But Derek said they had to keep the results mum until last night’s screening.
Alex says the Koops’ You Tube Channel, Daks Dominoes, and winning this competition could be stepping stones to greater things in the future.
Koops12 OC:rest of my life :26
In the season finale , aired last night, the three competing teams had to complete a build in 24 hours, using 5-thousand dominoes on a theme of their choosing.
The Dominerds, a three-man team including the Koops’ friend Lyle Broughton from Massachusetts, won a 100-thousand dollar prize, a trophy, and the title of Domino Masters.
CARBON PIPELINE FUNDING
One of the companies proposing to build a carbon pipeline through Iowa has announced it has raised more than one billion dollars for its project. Information from Summit Carbon Solutions says the company has secured 300 million dollars from a private equity firm called T-P-G Rise Climate and that completes the fundraising for its pipeline. In a written statement, the executive chairman of the investment group said the global fight against climate change requires an all-of-the-above approach to decarbonization. Summit plans to build a pipeline to ship carbon captured at Midwest ethanol plants to underground storage in North Dakota.
Counterfeit medications are showing up in Iowa which federal authorities say are not only dangerous, they’re deadly. Mike Casele, a special agent with the U-S Drug Enforcement Administration’s Omaha office, says the fake pills are becoming all too common.
Casele says most of the pills being found in Iowa originated across the southern U-S border.
More often, Casele says, the pills they’re finding contain very hazardous ingredients.
Casele says the D-E-A is working with state and local law enforcement in an effort to slow the distribution of these illegal pills.
SENATE ABORTION BILL
Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators, as expected, joined with their Republican colleagues in defeating the bill Democrats sponsored to guarantee access to abortion nationwide. Senator Chuck Grassley spoke during debate of the bill.
Senator Joni Ernst did not speak during debate. The Washington Post has reported Ernst will introduce a bill in the Senate to ban abortions after the sixth week of a pregnancy. Grassley has said in interviews with Iowa reporters he will not comment on a nationwide ban until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues its final ruling. During remarks on the Senate floor, this is how Grassley described his approach to the issue.
Grassley said the bill Democrats were offering would invalidate current state laws that regulate abortions.
The U.S. Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats and the outcome of Wednesday’s vote was expected, since there weren’t 60 senators willing to allow a vote on the bill. Abby Finkenauer (FINK-en-ow-er), one of the Democrats running for a chance to face Grassley in the November election, says yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) vote shows why Democrats need to win more seats in the U.S. Senate. Mike Franken, who is also competing for the Iowa Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination, says Grassley has consistently voted to take rights away from women.
NEED WEATHER OBSERVERS
The National Weather Service is looking for a few good weather observers. The Cooperative Observer Program has several vacancies. The program helps the National Weather Service keep extensive climate records for multiple locations across the state of Iowa. Federal officials say the information is invaluable to learning more about floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, and litigation. Observers would use equipment provided to them to record daily high and low temperatures, plus precipitation, and snowfall amounts at a particular time. The work will take an observer less than five minutes a day.