Three tornadoes confirmed in NWS-Davenport area

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As storms rolled through the area and tornadoes danced along the ground Monday night, Jeff Dietz knew something bad was afoot.

“It got real quiet,” said Dietz, 57, who has lived in the same farmhouse at 6535 Wisconsin Avenue in Davenport for 52 years. While he has not farmed the land since his last crop in 2001, he maintained the four silos, a large cattle shed and a large utility shed on the property.

When it got quiet, Dietz said Tuesday as he and friends picked up the debris about his place, “I knew this wasn’t going to be good.”

Dietz said he took a look out a window and saw the sheet metal siding on the cattle barn and shed being blown away.

Another peek out the window and he could tell he’d lost one silo completely while two others lost about 30 feet from their tops. Only the silo with the flat roof survived unscathed.

Tuesday was the beginning of cleanup.

Dietz pointed to the twisted metal and pile of rubble left by the silo that was destroyed, and the two that lost their tops. “I’m not going to replace those, or the sheds,” he said. “I figure I’ll break about even on everything.”

Most important, Dietz said, is that, “nobody was hurt.” The family home didn’t suffer damage although a pickup he’d been working on got beaten up a bit and a window of his SUV was blown out.

The tornado that struck Dietz’s farm started in Muscatine County, near the Mississippi River, according to National Weather Service, Davenport. It moved in a northeasterly direction for 25.3 miles through Blue Grass, northwest Davenport, and on into Eldridge.

Surveyors from the Weather Service classified the twister as an EF2, with peak winds of 120 mph, and a maximum width of 1,000 yards. In addition to the damage it caused at the Dietz farm, the winds from that tornado snapped tress and power poles and took shingles off roofs.

On Tuesday, electrical crews worked along Kimberly and Forest Grove roads in Davenport repairing downed power poles and electrical wires.

It was one of three tornadoes in the National Weather Service, Davenport, coverage area. A second tornado also struck Muscatine, while a third struck near Bernard in Dubuque County.

At 8:04 p.m. Tuesday, MidAmerican Energy was reporting 701 customers in Davenport were still without power, while 29 customers were without power in Scott County. In the Illinois Quad-Cities, there were 33 Rock Island customers without power, while there were eight in Rock Island County and four in Henry County.

Jennifer Nahra, the city’s communications director, said there also was storm damage in the 2600 to 3000 block of West 67th Street. The city’s forestry crew was busy removing downed trees from the roadways Tuesday, she said.

By the afternoon, crews had “responded and cleared all the calls that were received in conjunction with the storm,” she said.

Interstate 280 was shut down for a brief period because of downed power lines and a semi-trailer truck had blown over, Davenport Police Capt. Brent Biggs said.

No injuries were reported.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office responded to two semi-trucks that ended up on their sides in LeClaire and near the Walcott Truck Stop. The driver of the truck in LeClaire sustained minor injuries but declined treatment at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.

by Thomas Geyer
Mar 7, 2017 Updated Mar 9, 2017

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Kyrie Wagner