Quad-City residents will wake up to sweeping storm damage across the region after a high-powered rainstorm struck suddenly Sunday evening.
Police and fire crews responded to reports of downed trees and power lines, flash flooding and at least one structure fire in Walcott. Multiple people reported trees fallen on parked cars.
According to emergency radio dispatches, some boaters were caught off guard and sent distress signals. At least one water rescue was underway at 7 p.m.
Winds in some areas approached 70 mph, with sheets of rain. Storm debris — blown-off gutters, tree limbs, lawn furniture — was strewn across streets.
The National Weather Service in Davenport issued a hazardous-weather outlook at 4:35 p.m. that said to expect strong thunderstorms, on top of stifling heat and humidity.
Meteorologist Tim Gross in the weather service office in Davenport said the powerful storm came down from Minnesota and followed what is known as an instability gradient.
The system began to bow north of the Quad-City area and passed through Dubuque, Clinton County, Jackson County and the Quad-Cities while heading toward Galesburg, Gross said.
"The highest wind gust was recorded at the Dubuque Regional Airport at 76 mph," he said. "At the Davenport Municipal Airport the highest gust was 52 mph, while at the Quad-City International Airport the highest gust was 53 mph.
"Since it began to bow north of our area that's why Dubuque got stronger winds," Gross said.
The storm lasted from about 6:30 p.m. to about 7:15 p.m.
"The temperature here at the Davenport Municipal Airport at 6 p.m. was 84 degrees," Gross said. "At 6:35 p.m. the temperature had dropped 16 degrees to 68 degrees."
Of the main limbs that had been reported fallen, one very large limb broke off a tree at 1126 Grant St., Bettendorf.
Tony Steele said the limb came down about 6:58 p.m.
A van and sedan owned by Richard Horton were underneath the large limb.
"The landlord has been told this tree needs to come down," Horton said.
No one was injured, but the center and far right lanes of Grant Street just past the I-74 bridge was closed for a couple of hours while Bettendorf city crews removed as much of the large limb as they safely could.
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More than 20,000 MidAmerican Energy customers throughout the Quad-City metropolitan area were without power as of 8:47 p.m Sunday.
MidAmerican Energy reported that 15,325 customers in the Illinois Quad-Cities are without power, while there are 5,251 in the Iowa Quad-Cities.
In the Iowa Quad-Cities, Bettendorf had 300 customers without power, while Davenport had 1,239 customers down, and LeClaire had 2,252 customers without power, among the Iowa Quad-Cities that were hardest hit.
In the Illinois Quad-Cities, Moline had 2,162 customers without power, while Orion had 924 customers down, while Port Byron had 403 customers without power and Silvis had 861 customers down.
However, those living in rural Rock Island County were hardest hit with 4,414 customers without power.
According to emergency radio dispatches, a section of Barstow Road was closed because of a power pole in the road.
Alliant Energy reported that 1,931 customers in Clinton County were without power, while there were 518 customers down in Jackson County.
Beginning just after 7 p.m., Davenport Fire Departments responded to about three dozen calls in an hour, District Fire Chief Mike Ryan said. Mostly, the troubles were “flash flooding in some low-lying areas, power lines down, trees down, limbs down — those type of calls,” he said. “At this point, we don't have any injuries.”
Ryan advised Quad-City residents to stay indoors when bad weather strikes. “If there's no reason to go outside, please don't. If there's power lines, stay away, and if there's standing water, don't drive in it.”
Moline Fire Department Capt. Brian Vyncke said the department responded to three or four storm-related calls within the hour, “mainly some wires on some trees,” he said, which is “usually pretty common” during storms.
“No one was injured in any type of incident,” he said. “It looks like I see some sun on the horizon, so that's a good sign.”
The East Moline Fire Department responded to five calls during the storm, according to East Moline Fire Department Battalion Chief Derrick Anderson. The calls mainly were power line issues or tree branches on power lines.
“We haven't had any injuries,” he said. As far as storm-related issues go, there was “nothing out of the ordinary for us.”