Schools letting out early to beat the wind
Area schools will be sending students home early today as the National Weather Service to try to beat what is expected to be a windy and stormy afternoon and evening in much of Iowa.
School officials in New Hampton, Turkey Valley, Nashua-Plainfield and Sumner-Fredericksburg all announced that they will be closing two hours early because of an approaching storm system that forecasters say is like nothing they’ve ever seen.
Temperatures in New Hampton soared into the 60s by noon, but meteorologists say a strong system will bring thunderstorms with damaging winds and possibly even tornadoes into the area by this evening.
“Historically rare very strong winds will impact the area through the night,” officials from the National Weather Service office in La Crosse, Wisconsin, reported on its website. “The winds could result in power outages and damage property. Driving will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.”
Forecasters say the storms will be fast moving and that localized gusts of 80 miles per hour or higher are possible.
Emergency management officials are also reminding residents to be prepared for power outages and offering the following suggestions:
• Fully charge cell phones and other devices in advance.
• Flashlights are safer than candles and have extra batteries on hand.
• Only use portable generator outdoors; in other words, generators should not be set up in a garage.
• Stock up on nonperishable food, drinking water and medications.
• Those who get their water from a well should fill extra buckets of water for washing up and flushing toilets.
Once the storms move through, forecasters say temperatures will plummet. Tonight’s low is expected to be 27, and the high temperature on Thursday is expected to be 30, almost 40 degrees cooler than today’s high temperature.