Branstad declares Webster, Kossuth disaster areas

Gov. Terry Branstad has declared Webster and Kossuth counties disaster areas after strong storms swept through both counties Tuesday night.

Branstad’s declaration came one day after the Webster County Board of Supervisors also declared the county a disaster.

Included in the declaration is a provision suspending two sections of the Iowa Code that allow for bidding requirements to help Iowa Central Community College repair storm damage.

The college had extensive roof damage to Hodges Field House and the Hanson Center, as well as a number of rooftop air conditioning and heating units being knocked over.

Windows in some residence halls were also shattered.

Straight-line winds caused extensive damage in Fort Dodge, including downed trees and branches, building damage and leaving more than 17,000 residents without power.

Winds also caused damage in Kossuth County, according to David Penton, Kossuth County emergency management coordinator.

“Here within the city of Algona itself, we had a lot of tree damage,” he said. “Limbs, trees uprooted.”

The West Bend and Whittemore area saw structure damage.

“The straight-line winds came through and we had some buildings that were damaged, buildings that were blown down into other buildings,” Penton said. “We had an implement that was damaged.”

He said state agencies were already in Kossuth County helping to clean up Thursday.

“We’ve got the Department of Corrections with 14 inmates and the Department of Transportation is here,” he said. “They have four dump trucks and a payloader helping to clean up big branches in the roadway and public property.”