ZEARING, Iowa — The small Story County community of Zearing experienced a severe storm Thursday afternoon which brought back flashbacks of the derecho that tore through town two years ago.
Story County Emergency Manager Melissa Spencer told WHO 13 the storm battered Zearing with winds of more than 70 miles per hour and golf ball-sized hail.
“The first warning came out at 1:45 p.m. and I was getting damage reports that Zearing had been impacted within 15 minutes,” Spencer said. “Probably the 2020 derecho is the last time we saw this kind of impact in the county.”
The storm threw debris across Zearing’s baseball field, tore a lightpole from its screws, bent a flagpole like a straw, and brought down numerous tree limbs.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the storm.
Colin Witt rode out the storm in a basement on Zearing’s Main Street. He, like many others in Zearing, were reminded of the 2020 derecho when the storm passed through.
“It sounded like a freight train, not going to lie,” Witt said. “It was just devastation when I opened the door. I almost cried. We’re just thinking, ‘We have to do this again?'”
The storm also destroyed a park shelter that had been built in the community after the derecho.
“When I came down here to go check on my house and I saw that, I thought, ‘That’s bad,'” Witt said.
Witt said there is a silver lining to the devastation: people all around Zearing worked together to clean up what Mother Nature left behind.
“There’s dump trucks and skidloaders going by all the time,” Witt said. “It’s just a good community to be in. If you’re in help, someone will help you.”