September 26, 2017
Emergency Management was activated on 9/25/2017 at 5:53 pm by the Hardin County Communications Center in response to a severe weather event that struck the City of Iowa Falls. Several Emergency Services were activated to respond to emergency calls; the Iowa Falls Police and Fire departments, Iowa Falls Public Works Department and the Hardin County Sheriff and Emergency Squad. Initial impacts due to high wind and heavy rain were downed trees and power lines, roads blocked with debris, power outages through-out the city. Power loss caused the traffic signals downtown to go out, and a malfunction of the City tornado siren down town, it self-activated and had to be manually shut-down, which increased the call volume to the 911 center during the response.
Structural damages were reported but no injuries reported. Due to the storm damage, the City of Iowa Falls will be going around picking up downed branches through next week. Residents may also take downed branches to the City Street Garage at 215 South River Street.
After contacting the National Weather Service in Des Moines, it was suspected that with the heavy rain there was a microburst; a weather phenomenon that caused the damage. NWS said “unfortunately these are the type of events that we can't provide much warning for because they happen in just a few seconds and are so localized. Sometimes we can see them on radar, but after they have happened.”
Emergency Management wants to remind people to always stay away from power lines until the Utility company and Fire department determine it is safe.