Severe wind, hail damage at Klemme

Hail damage downtown Klemme.

Leader photo

Crop damage north of Klemme

Leader photo

Golf ball sized hail

Photo courtsey of Kristie Hayner

KLEMME – Klemme area residents spent Monday cleaning up and assessing damage from a storm system that blew through about 1:30 a.m.

Golf ball sized hail and high winds, damaged crops, buildings and trees.

State climatologist Harry Hillaker said The National Weather Service reported Hail 1 3/4 inches in diameter was reported in southeast corner of Hancock County.

“Basically golf-ball sized hail,” Hillaker said. “State-wide there really weren’t that many reports [of hail]. Not that it's any consolation to those folks who were hit.”

“Generally May is the peak time of year,” he continued. “By this time it should be much less frequent. The difference being if it happens in May the crops aren’t far enough along … and have a chance to come back.”

Mayor Ken Blank spent Monday cleaning up his property and assessing the damage at city hall.

“I think everybody who had windows on the north side had broken windows and damaged siding, shingles and roofs,” said Blank “It was good-sized hail and wind.”

Damage at Klemme included broken windows to downtown buildings facing north. City hall had window and siding damage. The north side of the fire station was damaged, Blank said.

The silver lining to Monday (if there could be one) was the volunteers who stepped forward to help with the cleanup, according to Blank. “We had a lot volunteers, and they're still at it. They’re making good progress.”

A lot of trees were down at the cemetery, “but people out early this morning and that was pretty well cleaned up, too.”

The storm damaged windows at Immanuel United Church of Christ and the Klemme Methodist Church.

“I’m seeing people out helping other people,” Blank continued. “Shortly after [the storm] people were clearing the streets.”

A common expression among residents was “it could have been worse.”

“I’ve been hearing that a lot today,” Blank said. “We’re all here yet.”

Crop Damage

David Stromer is executive director of the Hancock County Farm Service Agency.

He indicated that damage to crops occurred in an area approximately 6 to 8 miles wide east or west and about 10 miles north to south.

 “I’m seeing everything from 100 per cent [crop] destruction to 15-20 percent damage. It’s a sizable area,” he stated.

Read the complete story in the July 12 Leader.