We needed rainfall, but not damaging winds


    A late spring thunderstorm battered trees and power lines last Tuesday, April 26, across the entire Midwest, including Falls City, where trees suffered extensive damage and an entire neighborhood of folks on the east side of town went without power for some 12 hours.
    Eleven homes located near the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Weaver, Fulton and Nemaha Streets went dark when a tree branch fell across two power lines,” according to Utility Supt. Alan Romine. This tore down the primary wires in that easement and brought down the corner pole and a transformer pole and circuit feed to the north. The power was out from around 7 p.m. to 5 am.
    “Because of the soggy ground we had difficulty getting our trucks into the area and had to pull them around with our Street Dept. loaders,” Romine said. “We had to set two new poles, string the wire on them, and reinstall the transformer. Then repair the drops to the houses. Of course it was still storming while this was happening.”
    More than two inches of rain fell on most all of Richardson County Wednesday and some five inches of much-needed water fell throughout the week, wrapping up with an inch soaker Saturday. Two inches or so fell the previous week. Up until then, less than half an inch of rain had dropped the entire month of April and just 1.63 was reported in all of March. It was completely dry for a 28-day span in February and March.
    While the area suffered tree damage from high winds, no tornadoes touched down, thankfully, and no hail fell from the sky. At least a dozen twisters were confirmed throughout the Plains, including an EF1 west of Omaha. A Preliminary survey results have confirmed at least a dozen tornadoes on April 26 and 27, though the majority were relatively weak (either EF0 or EF1). Others touched down near Stanton, IA, which is located east of Red Oak, and Cameron, MO.
    April 26 featured several rounds of severe thunderstorms over a broad swath of the Plains and parts of the Midwest. A squall line tracked over 700 miles in just over 15 hours from far northeast Kansas early Tuesday morning to eastern Kentucky late Tuesday night, producing a swath of damaging thunderstorm winds. Among the damage reports included: A carport flipped and blown into trees near Frankfort, KS; a grain roof blown off and thrown 600 feet near Nortonville, KS; a roof ripped off and four power poles snapped in Sedalia, MO; siding blown off a home in Mokane, MO; and a flag pole and mailbox pole snapped in half near Weldon Spring, MO.
    Hail up to five inches in diameter (larger than softballs) fell near Bremen, KS, for 15 minutes, damaging roofs and shattering vehicle windshields, according to Marshall County’s emergency management chief.

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