Thousands lost electricity as high winds, heavy rains, tornado and thunderstorm warnings accompanied storms that moved through our area Thursday night, May 3, 2012.
Thursday afternoon and evening brought tornado watches issued for more than a dozen area counties in Iowa and Illinois.
At about 8:30 p.m. a tornado warning was issued for Henry, Jefferson, Louisa and Washington counties in Iowa.
Trained spotters and Doppler radar indicated a tornado south of Wayland, Iowa and south of Washington.
The National Weather Service received a report that a tornado went over a residence in the 2700 block of 330th Street, about two miles northeast of Wayland, just after 9 p.m. Heavy damage was also reported at a house in the 3200 block of Spruce Avenue, about four miles northeast of Wayland.
The storms moved northeast and the warning area moved to Muscatine and Louisa counties in Iowa as well as Mercer County in Illinois. That warning was cancelled at about 9:45 p.m.
Trained spotters and Doppler radar also indicated a tornado near Columbus Junction at about 9:20 p.m.
Trained spotters and emergency authorities reported hail between three-quarters and one-and-three-quarters inch in diameter in Johnson County, Iowa.
A trained storm spotter reported wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour east of Centerdale in Cedar County, Iowa. Later in the evening, another spotter reported a gust of 50 miles per hour in Henry County, Illinois. A former National Weather Service employee reported gusts of 60 to 70 miles per hour in Walcott.
Residents reported storm sirens sounding in Davenport and Bettendorf at about 9:45 p.m. Those sirens sounded for a severe thunderstorm warning for Cedar, Muscatine and Scott counties. The thunderstorm warning continued for Scott and Clinton counties until 11 p.m.
Flash flooding was an issue immediately following the storms. Streets were reported under water in Washington and Muscatine, Iowa. A trained spotter reported more than 3.1 inches of rain fell in about two hours in Washington.
Storm drains appeared to struggle to handle the volume of water that fell as rain moved through the Quad Cities, and flash flooding affected several city streets in Davenport, Bettendorf and Moline.
More than 3,000 MidAmerican Energy customers in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas were without electricity by about midnight. More than 600 of those outages were in Davenport, and more than 1,600 were in Camanche. About 600 were on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities. The heaviest concentration of outages on the Illinois side was nearly 200 customers reporting power out in Mercer County.
A flash flood warning was issued for Cedar, Johnson, Muscatine, Louisa and Washington counties in Iowa as well as southwestern Rock Island County in Illinois. That warning was expected to remain in effect until 4:15 a.m. Friday, May 4.
A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for more than 30 counties in Illinois, effective until 5 a.m. Friday. Counties in our area affected by that watch included Bureau, Henry, Knox, Putnam, Hancock, McDonough, Henderson, Fulton, Stark and Warren counties.