Storms, possible tornado ravage Grundy County

Grundy Center Municipal Utility crews remove a downed power line from a tree just north of the fire station. (John Jensen/The Grundy Register photo)

    MORRISON — Grundy County dodged a bullet.
    Severe thunderstorms including two confirmed tornadoes and one possible tornado ripped through the county Sunday and Monday, leaving a trail of damage but no reported injuries. Hardest hit were the Morrison and Conrad areas.
    According to the Grundy County Emergency Management Director Zach Tripp, two sets of storms were responsible for the damage. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for most of the county Sunday evening, with a tornado warning issued for the southwest corner near Whitten and Conrad. It was during this warning that the north side of Morrison was struck by a possible but unconfirmed tornado. The first reports of damage came in at approximately 8:35 p.m. No tornado warning was active in the area at the time the storm struck.
    Resident Dennis Dirks, whose home on Broadway Street just south of B Avenue 175 received only minimal damage when a tree fell in his yard, said he heard what sounded like a freight train as he rode out the storm. The long-time Morrison resident said the town has had storms before but that none had caused as much damage as Sunday’s.
    The largest swath of damage was along Railroad Street on the north side of town, where Cooley Pumping’s main building lost its roof, the former Co-Op building was severely damaged and several homes received varying degrees of damage. There was also extensive tree damage in the area, with at least two pulled up by their roots. Tripp said he could not confirm that the damage was caused by a tornado, though there are indications that it could have been. He has sent photos of the damage to the National Weather Service, which will make a final determination as to whether the damage was from a tornado or straight-line winds.

For more of this story, see the July 3 Grundy Register.