A massive severe weather event blew through the Bremer and Butler county areas Monday night, causing some power outages and minor street flooding.
The storms dumped anywhere between 1 and 1.75 inches of rain before the front cleared Tuesday morning, according to reports to the National Weather Service from nearby recording stations.
In Waverly, Streets Superintendent Brian Sullivan said there was just one tree that was knocked over on Cedar Lane near Evans Street that blocked the road.
“It was a dead one that fell over,” Sullivan told Waverly Newspapers Tuesday. “We just cut it up to get it off the road until daylight so we could take care of it. It was not anything major. Primarily, the guys cut it up and moved it off under their own power.”
He said otherwise, there were only a few other small branches or twigs scattered throughout town. There were no major damages.
Waverly Fire Chief Dennis Happel told Waverly Newspapers his department had no calls for service during the storm.
Over in Shell Rock and Denver, however, multiple customers experienced a power outage.
Tina Hoffman, a spokesperson with MidAmerican Energy, said the peak outages happened around 8:30 p.m., with 92 customers losing power in Bremer County and 315 in Butler County.
“The majority of the issue was when there were several storms that came through in waves,” Hoffman said. “This was fairly typical, but there were high winds in the area.”
Meanwhile, the Shell Rock First Responders had a post on their Facebook page praising the utility company for getting power back on.
“With (Monday’s) storms and the damage caused, we need to give a huge thanks to our local hometown heroes,” the post read. “Thank you to MidAmerican and all of the other utility personnel for restoring power to Shell Rock and our surrounding communities. We appreciate you.”
Dave Greene, the chief of the Shell Rock First Responders, said there wasn’t much damage in town.
“There was a branch down on a power line … on West Washington Street,” Greene said. “I don’t know what happened for the power outage on the north side of town.”
He relayed that there were reports of outages along North Cherry Street and near Shell Rock City Hall on North Public Road.
Meanwhile, Waverly Utilities had very few customers out briefly due to a blown fuse.
Operations Director Curt Atkins believed that either the wind or a branch had knocked out power for approximately 20 minutes for one or two customers.
“It was pretty uneventful,” Atkins said. “I saw there were quite a few around us who had issues.
“It looks like the crews went out (Monday) night at about 8:15 and were back in the shop by 9.”
The area was under two separate severe thunderstorm warnings, one that lasted from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and a second from around 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Wind gusts topping 60 mph was the main hazard to go with heavy rain and vivid lightning.
Sullivan, the Waverly streets superintendent, said there was spotty street flooding throughout town.
“During that one heavy downpour… it was too much for the catch basins to take for some period of time,” he said. “When you have rain like that, the catch basins aren’t designed — they’re only designed to handle a certain amount.
“When you get a downpour like that in a short amount of time, it can’t take that much. It sort of builds up in the gutters and stuff, and you have a few areas where it gets onto the street a little bit. Nothing real major.”
Greene, the Shell Rock First Responders leader, said the storms came through in waves.
“It just poured and poured and then as quick as it hit, it was gone,” he said. “At our house, we had a total of an inch and a half for rain for the night. That first round, we had a half an inch in probably about 15 or 20 minutes. It really came down.”
Atkins, with Waverly Utilities, said the lack of blackouts in Waverly is a testament to the city’s policies to maintain power lines and prune the trees around them.
“That’s the biggest reason why we don’t have a lot of outages when we have storms like that,” he said, “because the maintenance into the distribution system that we put into our town.”