AURELIA, Iowa (KCAU9) — Last night numerous communities felt the impact of an unusual December derecho that produced hurricane-force winds and at least four tornados.
Kim Huseman was born and raised in Aurelia, Iowa and after living away for 50 years, she moved back three years ago. She says she’s never experienced a storm like Wednesday night, saying the high winds didn’t last very long but were still horrifying.
“I don’t know, 45 or a minute. 45 seconds or a minute. You’re just terrified while it’s going on because you don’t know how long it’s going to go on and even one second is enough,” said Huseman.
Huseman noticed Thursday morning that her upstairs windows were broken by the wind but said she’s grateful it wasn’t worse. Nearly everywhere one looked today in Aurelia, there was some evidence of what took place Wednesday. Aurelia Police Chief Brian Flikeid says the town lost power for two hours and debris in the streets made it challenging to travel.
“Did make it a little more difficult getting around town and checking on people. We couldn’t just make phone calls to make sure everyone’s ok and that also resulted in people calling to check on their family members and not being able to get a hold of them,” said Chief Flikeid.
Other communities like Kingsley weren’t as lucky with the entire town in darkness overnight, forcing many residents to take emergency shelter at the Pierson Middle School. Dozens of people flocked to Aurelia Thursday morning to assist with the massive clean up and Flikeid says it was great to see all the support.
“It is pretty amazing. We’re a small town but right now our population is double. We have had individuals, businesses, people are donating equipment, businesses Are donating equipment. We have businesses dropping off food, water, supplies,” said Flikeid.
Flikeid does expect the clean-up to take a few days but said extensive progress has already been made.