19:57 GMT30 October 2020
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    Some 450,000 homes and businesses in Nebraska and Iowa are without power following the onslaught of a derecho that stretched across several states, downed trees and caused structural damage that is now being assessed.

    A derecho is a widespread, long-lived windstorm that is generally accompanied by rapidly moving showers and thunderstorms.

    The Weather Channel revealed Monday afternoon that winds as high 100 miles per hour impacted Nebraska and Iowa earlier that day, dumping buckets of torrential rain and aggressive gusts of straight-line winds onto areas such as Des Moines, Iowa - home to over 200,000 residents.

    The outlet reported that some 450,000 homes and businesses have lost power in the two states alone.

    Several social media users took to Twitter to document the damage after the storm ripped through their towns.

    The storm is on course to hit Illinois, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.

    "A derecho will rapidly progress across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois this afternoon," the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said. "Widespread severe wind gusts, some of which should reach 80-100 mph are anticipated along [its] track ... Brief tornadoes are also possible."

    The National Weather Service's Chicago branch reported "damaging wind gusts" of 72.5 miles per hour near Chicago Midway International Airport. 

    Social media footage of the storm's aftermath have begun to surface. 

    Many Midwest residents, including Des Moines-based reporter Dave Price, expressed on social media that they have not experienced a storm of this severity.

    The Des Moines Register noted that a 2011 derecho left 24,000 Iowans without power and resulted in an estimated $5 million in damages.


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