Iowa’s Natural Disaster History – Be Prepared with ServiceMaster

August 18, 2015 10:00 am

Every year, Iowa experiences severe weather causing damage to many residential and commercial properties around the state. Severe weather can be very unexpected, leaving individuals homeless and frantically searching for shelter and safety. In times of panic, you can rely on ServiceMaster by Rice for disaster recovery and restoration, flood and water restoration, fire damage repair, and more. We provide services to many towns around Iowa including Atlantic, Carroll, Spencer, Storm Lake, Okoboji, Cedar Rapids as well as Fairmont, Minnesota. Be informed and be prepared for a weather emergency so you can calmly handle any emergency – with the help of ServiceMaster by Rice.

Tornadoes in Iowa

Since 2011, we have had 11 presidentially declared disasters. From those, 7 of them have been tornado related during the summer months in Iowa. Between April 9 and July 16, 2015 there have been 25 tornadoes that have touched down throughout the state of Iowa.

Iowa lies in “tornado alley,” an area nicknamed because it’s in the Central Plains region where tornadoes most commonly form. Although tornadoes don’t happen often, they are most dangerous because they can produce winds strong enough to crush entire houses. Tornadoes have the ability to destroy everything in its path within minutes.

Straight-Line Winds in Des Moines and Carroll

You’ve probably heard of the term “severe thunderstorm.” If you live in the state of Iowa, you’ve most likely experienced a severe thunderstorm once or twice. Straight-line winds are ground level winds that accompany a thunderstorm. If straight-line winds exceed 57 mph, the thunderstorm is considered severe. Unlike tornadic winds, straight-line winds do not have a rotation, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as dangerous. Instead of picking up objects and swirling them around, straight-line winds will blow anything over in it’s path. During a severe storm, trees are often uprooted from the ground because of straight-line winds. When you hear the words severe thunderstorm, be prepared for high power winds accompanied by rain, hail, and lightning.

Cedar Rapids Flooding

The Great Flood of 1993 and the 2008 Floods were the two worst floods in modern-day history. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City were two one of the hardest hit cities, with over 5,200 homes affected by the flood waters. Throughout the state, about 40,000 Iowans were affected by the intense flooding.

Although Iowa hasn’t experienced any severe flooding since 2008, every year the high amounts of Spring and Summer rainfall causes the rivers to flood the banks and causes many road closures. Homes and businesses near the rivers are always left hoping the water won’t surround their property. Iowa also experiences a lot of flash flooding from high amounts of rainfall in the spring and summer. It is important to be alert when driving during heavy rainfall conditions so you don’t drive into flash flooding conditions on the roadways.

Des Moines, Atlantic, and Storm Lake Winter Storms

Between the months of October and April, you should always be prepared for winter weather in Iowa. Last winter, Des Moines accumulated about 35 inches of snow between these months.

A winter storm occurs when precipitation forms and the temperature drops below freezing. Snow or sleet will result and roadways may become dangerous, slick, and visibility may decrease. The most dangerous winter storms happens when the temperature slowly drops, eventually forming a layer of ice on the roadways. A combination of sleet, snow, and ice is the most dangerous and unsafe driving conditions for drivers.

Blizzards are formed when high winds and snowfall are combined. A driver’s visibility can decrease drastically, and the wind can make your car slip and slide around the roadway. When a severe winter storm warning is in effect in the state of Iowa, stay inside. Nothing is important enough to risk your life by driving on the unsafe roadways. Too many Iowans think they are expert winter drivers, but they fall victim to hidden ice patches underneath the snow. Even if you go slow, you can’t control the drivers around you.

ServiceMaster by Rice Disaster Restoration

If your Iowa home or property experiences a natural disaster, call ServiceMaster by Rice for restoration services in Atlantic, Carroll, Spencer, Storm Lake, Okoboji, Cedar Rapids and Fairmont, Minnesota. Our professionals can provide you with natural disaster restoration, water and flood damage cleanup, trauma cleanup, water extraction, board up services, and temporary power for your residential or commercial property.