It was one year ago, August 10 and 11, 2020, that the Iowa sky turned green and all hell broke loose. A devastating weather event called a Derecho blazed through Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

A derecho is described as a “widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms known as a mesoscale convective system. Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods.”

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The derecho that swept through Iowa on August 10 and 11 produced winds in excess of 135 mph. The winds destroyed buildings, flattened corn and soybean fields, and blew trees to the ground. The event also caused a blackout that lasted for weeks afterward in some areas.

Described as a hurricane over Iowa the derecho caused an estimated $11 billion in damages and spawned a years-long cleanup effort.

Cedar Rapids was one of the hardest-hit cities in the state suffering a near-complete blackout that lasted for weeks in some areas widespread and severe property damage, and an estimated loss of at least half of the city's tree canopy.

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