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Emergency officials explain lack of tornado sirens in Creston

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Tornado sirens did not sound in Creston before Saturday’s twister struck, which injured a half-dozen people and caused heavy damage in the southwest Iowa community. Union County Emergency Manager JoAnn Duckworth says she’d been watching the storm develop on radar and had seen nothing particularly threatening for her area until the EF-2 tornado dropped from the sky.

Car flipped onto its roof in the Creston hospital parking lot (B. Lewis)

Creston tornado damage (Courtesy Brandon Lewis)

“In just a few seconds, the whole situation changed,” Duckworth says. “We weren’t able to get out to sound the sirens, there just was not time. When the storm was coming through, nobody would have heard them.” Strong winds came ahead of the storm, knocking out power and knocking radio stations off the air — so no warnings came on the radio either. Cell phones were also knocked out. Duckworth says residents had been told to be on the lookout for severe weather.

“We knew this system was coming in, we’d been planning on it for 48 hours and we tried to urge people to please be aware and to have those emergency plans in place,” she says. Unfortunately, all the preparing in the world can’t stop the actual storm from coming.”

Structure wiped off its foundation in Creston (Brandon Lewis photo)

Damage in Creston is widespread, including to the town’s only hospital and to Southwestern Community College. Six people were injured in Creston, one critically. The town of Thurman was also slammed by a tornado the same day, causing wide damage to dozens of homes.

(Brandon Lewis/Radio Iowa, Creston)

Western IA feedlot agrees to pay $10k penalty for pollution discharges

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Kansas City, Kansas, office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said today (Monday), a western Iowa beef cattle feedlot company has agreed to pay a large penalty for violations of the Clean  Water Act related to discharges of pollutants into a creek and its tributaries. Petersen-Bubke, LLP, in Monona County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty. By agreeing to the settlement, Petersen-Bubke has certified that it is currently in compliance with the Clean Water Act.  

According to an administrative civil consent agreement and final order filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., EPA personnel conducted a compliance evaluation and inspection of the facility in March 2011 and observed evidence of discharges of process wastewater and pollutants from the facility into Rush creek. Petersen-Bubke was confining approximately 1,050 cattle at the time of the inspection, which made it subject to regulation as a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). However, the feedlot did not have a necessary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, nor had it applied for one, as required by the Clean Water Act. 

EPA Region 7 issued an order to the feedlot in May 2011, directing it to install discharge controls or apply for an NPDES permit. In accordance with the order, Petersen-Bubke has complied with the Clean Water Act by reducing the number of cattle it confines below the regulatory threshold, and by constructing livestock waste controls. Unauthorized and uncontrolled discharges of wastewater and stormwater from concentrated animal feeding operations and their production areas can cause exceedances of water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.

Housing needed for displaced Creston residents

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the American Red Cross and the Southern Iowa Regional Housing Authority (SIRHA), are asking landlords in Adair and Guthrie Counties to call SIRHA if you have any housing vacancies. Residences are needed for persons in the Creston area who were displaced by Saturday’s tornado.

SIRHA is working to get families placed in homes as quickly as possible. Only landlords are asked to call if you have properties available. Please call Brenda at SIRHA, 641-782-8585, ext. 10.

Iowa State University installing water monitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 Iowa State University is installing water quality monitors 16 Iowa lakes to help find out what causes harmful algal blooms. Some types of blue-green algae, for example, can produce dangerous toxins. Drinking toxin-tainted water can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory failure and, rarely, death.

Among the western Iowa lakes that will be part of the monitoring study is: Arrowhead and Black Hawk Lakes in Sac County; Lake Orient, in Adair County; and, Springbrook Lake, in Guthrie County. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is cooperating in the study. The monitoring equipment will be underwater and will be marked by hazard buoys.

8AM Newscast 04-16-2012

News, Podcasts

April 16th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 04-16-2012

News, Podcasts

April 16th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

CAM School Board to meet this evening

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM Community School District’s Board of Education will meet this evening, in Anita. During their 7-p.m. session, the Board will act on: Open enrollment applications; Approving the 2012-2013 Master Contract; Resignations and Contracts; the 2012-2013 School Calendar; and matters pertaining to Conference affiliation.

The meeting takes place in the Media Center at the CAM High School.

Griswold School District to act on Redistricting Resolution

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold Community School District’s Board of Education is expected to act on passing a resolution during their meeting this evening, pertaining to Redistricting on Director Districts, District Maps and the Method of Election. The discussion leading up to tonight’s vote was made necessary following the results of the 2010 census.

If the Board votes to re-district, there would be four geographical districts and three board members elected At-Large, instead of the current seven different districts and one person from each district on the board.  In other business, the Griswold School Board will act on executing a service agreement with Piper Jaffrey, and set May 1st as the sale date for Public Bonds. The bonds would allow the district to borrow against the penny sales tax revenue into the future, on approximately $2.2-million, so that the money is available for current and future projects.

The Board will also act on approving the list of 2012 graduates, garage door bids, and the setting of bid specifications for buses. The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Central Office Board Room at the Middle School/High School Building.

Branstad issues Emergency Proclamation for Fremont & Union Counties

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Governor Terry Branstad has issued an emergency proclamation for two southwest Iowa counties in the wake of Saturday’s severe storms. The declaration allows state resources to be used to help communities in Fremont and Union counties recover. Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds reviewed the damage in Creston yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.

Creston Tornado packed winds of up to 130-miles per hour

News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service says Saturday’s tornado in Creston was packing winds of up to 130-miles per hour when it destroyed or damaged several buildings, and flipped over parked cars. The tornado was classified as in E-F 2 on the Fujita Scale. Officials say

It began at around 6:55-p.m., about 1.5-miles east of Cromwell, and tracked through northwest Creston at around 7-p.m. Saturday, destroying the Green Valley Area Education Agency (AEA) building, damaging structures on and near the Southwestern Community College campus, and causing significant damage to the Greater Regional Medical Center.

The twister continued to track northeast and damaged several farmsteads northeast of Creston before dissipating about 10-miles north of town, at around 7:15-p.m. The overall path of the tornado measured 14-miles. It was approximately 600-yards wide and lasted for about 20-minutes. Initial reports suggest 10-people were injured, but there were no fatalities.