Rippey House, Boone County farm suffer wind damage

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A fallen tree on the house of Alice Wedemeyer of Rippey at 106 Percival St. Wednesday brought forth a crew of neighborly volunteers to clean up the debris and set things right. Photo courtesy Alice Wedemeyer

A fallen tree at the home of Tony and Holly Tice at 504 320th St. near Perry downed power lines and set fire to a fir tree Wednesday. Photo courtesy Holly Tice

High winds and thunderstorms ripped through most of Iowa Wednesday, leaving a wake of damage in their paths. One homeowner in Rippey came home to find half a tree had fallen on her house.

Alice Wedemeyer, a longtime resident at 106 Percival St., got a call from a neighbor around 4 p.m. to let her know a tree had fallen on her house.


When she got home from work, she found many of her neighbors already working on removing the tree. They even placed a tarp over the hole in the roof since it was still raining while they worked.

“My neighbors jumped in and helped me,” Wedemeyer said. “They were here before I got off work.”

She said she could not name everyone who helped, but it was a large number. They even brought skid loaders and chain saws and got the job done quickly, she said.

“Thanks to my neighbors for jumping in and helping,” Wedemeyer said. “It’s really great to live in a small town.” Her neighbors were not immediately available for comment.

A few miles east in Boone County, Tony Tice had a fir tree catch on fire when downed power lines and a snapped power pole came in contact with the trees along his fence.

Tice said workers from Midland Power Cooperative repaired the damage at his home at 504 320th St. Wednesday afternoon, and the tree caught fire soon afterward.

“You can still see sparks jumping above the transformer,” Tice said.

The Perry Volunteer Fire Department responded to the tree fire about 8:15 p.m. and made contact with Midland Power.

Holly Tice surveyed the other wind damage on their property, including a baby grackel displaced from its nest by the falling trees. As the Bible says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” The rule seems to apply to grackels, too.

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