Satellite imagery shows devastation to Midwest crops a week after derecho

The storm leveled fields of corn, damaged agricultural buildings and had wind gusts of 80-100 mph in some places

Satellite imagery from University of Wisconsin's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies shows devastation to corn, soy crop in Iowa

ROANOKE, Va. – Last Monday, a derecho (widespread windstorm) sped through parts of the upper Midwest. We first wrote about this last Tuesday, after wind gusts in parts of Iowa reached and exceeded 100 miles-per-hour. A week later, 75,000 Iowans are still without power.

The image at the top of the article shows brown scars, meaning that the blown-over crops are dying and are not coming back up. This is a devastating blow, partially because Iowa has led the U.S. in corn production for more than two decades in a row. For so many in the Midwest, this is their livelihood and with fall harvest not that far away.

Millions of acres of corn and soybeans were impacted by the storm, according to the Iowa Soybean Association. The damage is still being assessed, so it’s not known exactly how much of the crop is destroyed.

Ways to help

A lot of us know what it’s like to have a derecho move through, as we had one in late June of 2012. Here are a few resources to help.


Iowa Derecho Storm Resource Page Facebook group

Food pantries

If you know of any local efforts to help those dealing with the aftermath of the storm, please contact me so I can include that in this article. My information is listed below.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.