Pelting rain and fierce winds blew through Jasper County Wednesday evening as a thunderstorm system made its way across Iowa. From downed power lines to road signs breaking loose and striking vehicles, the power of the storm was felt throughout the county.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Jasper County shortly after 4 p.m. on Thursday along with a tornado watch until 7 p.m., alerting citizens to the line of storms coming toward Newton and the surrounding towns. While it did not last long, its damage was felt for hours afterward as more than 2,100 people lost power and even more started cleaning up fallen limbs and debris.
Following the storm, Alliant Energy reported 15 outages and 1,679 customers without power in Jasper County. In Newton, a power line was struck by a falling tree limb at the intersection of North 15th Avenue West and West Fourth Street North, causing an outage for those in the northwest quadrant of the city.
In Prairie City, power was out in parts of the town for several hours before being restored shortly before midnight.
In what could have been a deadly situation, Newton resident Ron Reimers was involved in an incident where a speed limit sign detached from its post and slammed into his truck while he was driving on Interstate 80 near Altoona.
“The sign flew off into my truck and almost came through my windshield and totaled my truck,” Reimers said. “Scared the hell out of me.”
Damage included a broken windshield, front headlight and heavily dented hood.