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A high wind warning will be in effect from noon Wednesday until midnight.

High wind warnings typically occur in Iowa about once a year, but aren’t usually this widespread or to this magnitude. Wind gusts are expected to reach over 60 mph at times, which is strong enough to cause damage. The strength and widespread nature of these winds will be exceptionally rare. Compared to the 2020 derecho, winds won’t be quite as strong. Wind gusts were over 100 mph in some spots during the derecho. The winds we’ll see on Wednesday may last for a longer period of time, over a larger area, and without a thunderstorm present. That’s why emergency managers want you to take this threat of strong wind seriously. 

“There’s some things that we can be doing today or early tomorrow morning before the winds really kick in. And it’s things like taking care of our outdoor furniture. People right now have a lot of holiday decorations that are out on their lawn. Those should be secured and brought inside if possible … These high winds always seem to happen on garbage day. So taking care of garbage cans, trampolines, things like that, as people can secure them as best they can,” said Polk County Emergency Manager AJ Mumm. 

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Travel will also be especially dangerous along interstates and highways. Emergency managers have communicated with truck stops across the state to make sure they are prepared and can support overflow parking. Mumm said, “We suggest that anybody driving a high profile vehicle be off the road if possible [or] to alter their travel plans. Even traveling in a minivan or an SUV can be very dangerous with winds forecasted as high as they’re going to be.”