(LE MARS)--High winds and lightning damaged utility poles interrupting power in parts of Le Mars last night.
Severe thunderstorm warnings in Plymouth County were followed by tornado warnings for parts of Sioux and Lyon Counties. Storm spotters reported twisters near Ashton, Sibley and Hawarden.
As the storm moved into Le Mars, winds toppled power poles. The Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative reported a peak wind gust of 43 miles an hour at six last (Wednesday) night.
According to Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper, the first power outage in Le Mars affected the southwest area of town.
Crews from MidAmerican Energy worked to restore power to the downtown area of Le Mars after a utility pole was reported on fire at Central Avenue and Second Street Northeast.
The power outage led to an accidental house fire in southeast Le Mars at 435 Lombardi Road just before midnight. The house is owned and occupied by Marsha Geier. The famly reported the fire when they returned home. Schipper says fire fighters found heavy smoke coming out of the home and saw flames from the roof of the single-story ranch home.
Food was left on a stove when the power went out. Preliminary damage estimates are 60-thousand to 100-thousand dollars.
Firefighters were out on the call for about three hours. The Fire Rescue Department responded to six calls for service due to the storm. They began with an alarm malfunction when power was interrupted at a business. Another call was a smoke odor that was a grill in a neighborhood. There was also a second report of smoke in an apartment related to a power outage. The tenant in an apartment in downtown Le Mars was cooking when power went out. The person had later fallen asleep and the burnt food smell was reported by a neighbor. Firefighters provided ventillation.
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