Hail no! North Central Iowa hit again by destructive storms

Wednesday evening’s storms struck fast and furiously.

At about 6 p.m., the Charles City Fire Department reported “many trees and powerlines down throughout (the) county, making many roads impassable.”

A minute later, a spotter reported a tree branch knocking out power lines south of Charles City.

These were two of many reports compiled by the National Weather Service about the high winds, hail and heavy rain that tore into north central Iowa Wednesday, May 17. The storms tracked north into Minnesota, where tornadoes were reported.

Along with the snapped branches, large trees were uprooted in Charles City. The city will be picking up brush on Monday, May 22. Residents are asked to put it out by the curb in a pile.If you have questions, please call City Hall at 257-6300.


From the National Weather Service:

Friday — Showers likely, mainly between 7am and 2pm. Cloudy, with a high near 51. East wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday Night — A chance of showers before 10pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 10pm and 1am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 45. East wind 11 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday — Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 1pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. High near 63. East wind 10 to 15 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Saturday Night — A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. West wind 8 to 14 mph.


To read the National Weather Service summary of Wednesday’s storm, click here.


See more photos of storm damage on the Charles City Police Facebook page, click here.

The local rain totals from Wednesday’s storms:

  • Ionia — 2.49 inches
  • New Hampton —1.43 inches
  • Rockford — 2.39 inches
  • Nashua — 2.14 inches
  • Charles City — 1.90 inches
  • Nora Springs — 1.80 inches


  • 5:05 p.m. — 1-inch diameter hail in Floyd
  • 6:05 p.m. — Trees and power lines down in Charles City.
  • 6:08 p.m. — 60 mph wind in Marble Rock
  • 6:11 p.m. — 60 mph wind in Floyd
  • 6:12 p.m. — 50 mph wind in Nashua
  • 6:15 p.m. — 70 mph wind in Colwell
  • 6:15 p.m. — Large trees down in New Hampton
  • 6:20 p.m. — 68 mph wind in New Haven
  • 6:21 p.m. — 60 mph wind in Bassett. Trees damaged
  • 6:25 p.m. — 60 mph wind in Alta Vista
  • 6:27 p.m. — Trees blown down in Osage
  • 6:27 p.m. — Trees blown down in Lawler


Globe Gazette — Storm blamed for trucker’s death 

KCHA — Wednesday storm causes significant wind damage, injuries and a death