Storm Damage Surprises Jefferson Residents

JEFFERSON, Iowa  --  Residents say the sheer amount of debris in Jefferson is shocking. On the western side of town, you could find everything from small pieces of wood to a full-size Minute Maid refrigerator just thrown into a resident’s yard.

“I don't have the slightest idea where that came from, but I own it now. I wish they would have left the juice in it so I would have had something to drink,” laughed Dan Potkonak.

Potkonak can joke about the random piece of equipment leaning on his front steps now, but things weren't as funny on Friday night when the storm rolled in.

“All of a sudden the flag fell off the off the pole, and next thing I know there's debris coming this way,” he said.

Potkonak and his wife took shelter in their mobile home's closet and waited for things to die down.

“My first reaction was 'thank god it wasn't any higher and came through the front window.' We're all safe, nobody was hurt, so we feel lucky,” he said.

The winds were strong enough to tear Potkonak’s shed off its foundation and completely destroy it. In other parts of the town a garage collapsed, one of the baseball field's dugouts was totaled, and part of the Casey’s roof was damaged. Power lines and tree limbs were also ripped down.

“Never seen this kind of damage in Jefferson myself. We just heard a large crash and we thought it was the thunder, but it was our power pole being snapped in half and a big tree coming down next to our lot,” said Paul Richardson.

As residents clean up and survey the damage, they wonder when they'll finally get a long break in the weather.

“We can’t believe it, it feels like the 75th of January or something,” said Richardson.

About 24 hours after the storm first hit, several residents were still left without power.