Morning Storm Knocks Over Semis Near Casey, Causes Damage to Oakwood Cemetery

CASEY, Iowa -- The winds were so strong Tuesday morning on Interstate 80 near Casey and Adair that it caused four semis to flip over.  The accident would close down the westbound lanes for a few hours. One of the drivers was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries.

“Very lucky. One minute you're driving and the next second you're on your side sliding down the interstate. The good thing is, no other traffic was affected headed the other way,” said State Patrol Spokesman Sgt. Nathan Ludwig.

Meanwhile, just off the interstate in the same area, a small cemetery saw major damage.

“Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how such old trees can just be toppled. It's just amazing, and I didn't want to look in that hole,” said Oakwood Cemetery Board Treasurer Romonia Dinkla.

Luckily, it didn’t look that any coffins were disturbed. The same can’t be said for several large trees. Some fell on headstones; others just add to a long cleanup list.

“We really don’t have the budget for something like this, so we're going to have to rely on volunteers. We have a volunteer cleanup every year, but this is going to take major volunteers,” said Dinkla.

The cemetery is overseen by a small board who say they are trying to take it in stride. They only wish the wind would have blown down a few dead trees instead.

“It's got to be the living ones! We've been planning to take those dead ones out and Mother Nature didn't help us there, got to have a little humor in life,” said board member Tom Cline.

While the big trees are more of an eyesore, some of the smallest damage, flags placed by headstones on Memorial Day, is also some of the most upsetting.

“That's really sad because we need to honor the people that are here and for it to just be blown away is heartbreaking,” said Dinkla.

While the group says most of the work will be done by volunteers, they also may try to find some grant money to help with the cost.

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