CLINTON — Downed power lines, uprooted trees and destroyed farm equipment were familiar sights this week in Clinton County as residents attempted to recover from a series of strong and severe thunderstorms that have ripped through the area over the course of six days.
The week-long streak of isolated showers and storms began late Monday evening and left significant damage for Clinton County Emergency Management Agency operations officer Dan Vosatka to document on Tuesday.
“I went out Tuesday afternoon throughout the entire county and in concentrated areas,” Vosatka said. “Andover was one of the first spots and what I had seen was pretty significant damage at the cemetery with fallen trees and some road signs but that wasn’t the worst of the damage in the county.”
One area he said felt the hardest blows of Monday’s storm was the Welton area and to the west, south of Grand Mound and south of Wheatland.
Farm buildings were pulled down and damaged, machine sheds were tossed from their original locations and farm crops laid on their sides from what Vosatka said was “pretty significant wind damage.”
The concern from residents in the county though stretched further than the damage of property; their concerns were that the tornado sirens never went off.
“A lot of people were concerned that none of the outdoor warning sirens went off but they were still receiving alerts of a tornado warning,” Vosatka said. “The National Weather Service never put Clinton County in a tornado warning so that is why they were never issued. And my guess is that the alerts were probably bouncing off of cell towers from Scott County.”
Although the NWS never issued a tornado warning for Clinton County, Vosatka said by the evidence of damage after Monday’s storms, the outdoor sirens could have been turned on. One thing he did add is that those sirens are meant to warn people who are outside, and he assumed that when the storms hit in the early morning hours of Tuesday, not many people would have been outside.