When I woke up on August 10, I didn’t know what a derecho was. But I would by the end of the day.
It started off a normal Monday. I was excited to participate in the African-American Credit Union Coalition’s online conference. The news forecasted thunderstorms for the afternoon. But thunderstorms and tornado warnings are a common occurrence in Iowa during August.
It wasn’t until a little later that I checked the weather radar and saw that a storm was moving across the state’s plains at 70 to 80 miles per hour. Outside my window I could see that the sky did not look good. When my lights started flickering, I called my boss to warn that we might lose power for a little while and I’d not be able to work. The power cut off shortly after that call and we didn’t get it back until two days later.
The storm had arrived. A derecho is a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that moves across a great distance and is characterized by damaging winds. They cause tornados and hurricane-force winds. But unlike a hurricane, you don’t have days to prepare ahead of time and secure your house and belongings.
continue reading »