Powerful derecho leaves path of devastation across Midwest

Large tree limbs and a steel sign was crumpled in Winona Lake, at the corner of Park and Winona Aves. (Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A rare wind storm with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power.

The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours Monday as it tore across eastern Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. A scientist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center says the storm had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado.

Officials in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown say the damage is extensive.