POSTED ON August 27, 2020
Most of us know a hurricane as a weather event that forms far out in the ocean and eventually thrusts its ferocity through the mainland leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Imagine now, a similar force of nature beginning an unpredicted 700-mile journey through the heart of the U.S. Corn Belt. Such was the case of the Midwest derecho that struck Iowa on August 10, 2020. Often referred to as inland hurricanes, the derecho originated near the region between South Dakota and Nebraska. The storm then intensified rapidly as it marched eastward on an 11-hour rampage. It produced damaging, straight-line wind gusts of over 100 mph lasting for extended periods.
Unlike hurricanes which are regularly forecast from their early and distant formation and continually tracked, the formation of a derecho is not readily apparent. The weather was initially predicted as thunderstorms, or just another typical, muggy August day. What transpired was waves of blinding rain and a wall of wind, extensive damage, and more than 1 million residents without power. In addition, reports indicate that Iowa will probably sustain enormous agricultural losses, including to approximately one-third of the state’s corn crop, which is a staple of Iowa’s economy.
“The unfortunate, yet common outcome from this and other severe storms, is the displacement of people from the normalcy of their daily lives,” notes Shannon Pierce, Director at Pie Consulting & Engineering. “Compounded by the constraints of the current pandemic, this displacement occurs at a time when people are simply looking for a break.”
It is important to note that derechos are not uncommon events. For example, in July 2011, a similar event produced a relatively narrow, but lengthy swath of wind damage that extended from the central High Plains to the Mid-Atlantic states. The high winds also left one million households and businesses without electrical power from Des Moines to Detroit as storm winds in some locations gusted to more than 100 mph.
Pie Consulting & Engineering has been and continues to be on site in Iowa to support the insurance claims industry and their insureds. For more information, contact Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pie Consulting & Engineering is a leading global provider of building and forensic science services who provides a comprehensive and diverse range of engineering, rehabilitative design, consulting, enclosure commissioning (BECx), construction management, and field performance testing services. As a new subsidiary of Lerch Bates, Inc. (www.lerchbates.com), Pie services its development, design, construction, insurance/claims, and legal professional clients globally from our headquarters in Colorado and multiple regional offices strategically positioned throughout the nation. To learn more, visit www.pieglobal.com.