clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Destructive winds are surging through the Midwest. Here’s what happened

Severe weather, now making its way toward Canada, produced strong wind gusts and reports of tornadoes in the U.S.

A shorn utility pole in Greene County, Iowa.
A shorn utility pole blocks 280th Street in Greene County, Iowa, on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, after a band of severe weather produced strong wind gusts and reports of tornadoes across much of the state Wednesday night.
Bryon Houlgrave, The Des Moines Register via Associated Press

A storm swept across the Great Plains and the Midwest on Wednesday, leaving one person dead, according to NBC News.

Tornadoes swept across Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. Iowa State Patrol troopers reported an incident where a tractor-trailer was blown over, causing a crash on Highway 151, west of Walford.

According to KCCI News, the driver wasn’t wearing a seat belt and his name hasn’t been released. At 6 p.m., the agency tweeted a warning — “Don’t be in a vehicle. Get in your safe spot now.”

By Thursday, the storm moved to the north of the Great Lakes and into Canada, but high winds, snow and hazardous conditions were still being reported in the upper Great Lakes Region, according to ABC News.

  • More than 400,000 homes and businesses experienced an electricity outage Thursday morning in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kansas, according to, a website that tracks power outages in the U.S.
  • “To have this number of damaging wind storms at one time would be unusual any time of year,” said Brian Barjenbruch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley, Nebraska, per the report. “But to have this happen in December is really abnormal.”
  • Last weekend, tornadoes cut through states including Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois and Kentucky, killing more than 85 people.