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Aug. 2020 Derecho


Iowa first learned what a derechos was on August 10th of 2020. Although derecho’s had happened before this, none had been quite as damaging or large as this. After this derecho, the estimated damage in Iowa resulted in approximately $7.5 billion, and this number did not even include the crops that were damaged, reduced, or lost or that impact on the farmer’s pay out. This is the largest economic disaster recorded in Iowa ever. Hurricane Laura was the only natural disaster in the world that cost more last year at approximately $14 billion in damages.

For those who don’t know, a derecho is a storm with violent, fast-paced winds that are typically seen within a thunderstorm. In order to be considered a derecho the storm’s path must be at least 60 miles wide and 240 miles long as well as a consistent wind gust resulting in an average above 55 mph. Most derechos last 10-20 minutes in one area, but the August of 2020 storm was moving slower, staying 30-60 minutes in one area.

The August derecho left many cities without power – some for weeks, blocked many roads with trees, branches, and debris, and damaged or destroyed many homes. This derecho happened to be highly severe with most winds traveling at a speed of 70 mph, however the highest speed recorded was close to 140 mph in Atkins, Iowa.

Over 1,000 housing units were deemed unlivable in Cedar Rapids alone leaving construction companies overwhelmed with work through clients, insurances, and contractors. The hail that came with the August of 2020 derecho did not help their case nor that at least 66% of trees, or tree limbs, came down during this storm. Over a year later, storm inspections are still taking place for siding, roofing, gutter, and window repair.


Dec. 2021 Derecho


Unfortunately, derechos are most likely to present themselves in extreme temperature fluctuation due to greater atmospheric moisture content and conditional instability. And this is what caused the most recent, December 15th, 2021, derecho. With record breaking temperatures of 74 degrees Fahrenheit during an Iowa December, this ‘heat wave’ created the perfect environment for a derecho to brew.

This storm, although not as severe as the last derecho, came with a total of 13 tornados touching down in the state of Iowa. The Iowa destruction from this storm is also not as severe in comparison to the last storm, but there is plenty of destruction all the same. This storm caused most destruction in Nebraska though power was out in different locations across seven states. Additionally, the storms caused wildfires to break out in Kansas affecting the air quality in surrounding states.

Since the Derecho Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds, has issued a disaster proclamation for 43 countries allowing residents in need financial assistance through a grant program. Although total storm economic impact has not yet been released/evaluated, we know there are plenty out there hurting.

A New Look Exteriors wants to provide anyone in need the best help we can by creating a safe and stronger home. We work closely with insurance companies, can accept grants, and have 0% financing options available. Whatever we can do to relieve some stress from you this holiday season, let us know. All our storm inspections are free, and most insurances cover most storm damage. Feel free to reach out to us to schedule an appointment today so that you and your family can feel more prepared in the unfortunate case that an event like this might happen again.


Corfidi, S. F., Evans, J. S., and Johns, R. H. (May 18, 2018). About Derechos, NOAA-NWS-NCEP. Retrieved from https://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/AbtDerechos/derechofacts.htm#climatechange.

Hason, B. (Oct. 17, 2020). Iowa derecho in August was most costly thunderstorm disaster in 

U.S. history, The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/ weather/2020/10/17/iowa-derecho-damage-cost/.

Miskimen, K. (Dec. 16, 2021). Heavy Iowa windstorm met criteria to be considered a derecho, NWS says, The Gazette. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.com/weather/heavy -windstorm-met-criteria-to-be-considered-a-derecho-nws-says/.

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