A tree fell on a house on North Main Street Wednesday night when wind gusts of up to 75 mph blew through Carroll. It&rsquo;s occupants were on the front porch at the time but escaped injury.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: xx-small;"><em> Daily Times Herald photos by Jared Strong</em></span>
A tree fell on a house on North Main Street Wednesday night when wind gusts of up to 75 mph blew through Carroll. It’s occupants were on the front porch at the time but escaped injury.  Daily Times Herald photos by Jared Strong
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wind gusts reached 75 mph Wednesday night in Carroll, toppling tree branches and power lines — and even collapsing a residential porch — but scattered storms across the state brought little relief to this summer’s smothering drought.

The storms dropped .39 inch of rain in Carroll and shouldered blasts of wind that mostly fluctuated between 60 and 70 mph, said meteorologist Jeff Johnson, of the National Weather Service office in Johnston.

Scattered storms brought less than 1/4 inch of rain to most areas of western Iowa but were not widespread enough to make a significant dent in the rain deficit, which reached 3 inches in July, Johnson said.

“It’s just not enough to tip the balance,” he said. “We need a sustained period of wetness to get close, and I don’t see that happening.”

A new report by the U.S. Drought Monitor released today lists most of the state in severe drought and parts of eastern Iowa in extreme drought, the second-worst classification.

About 6,000 MidAmerican Energy customers lost power Wednesday night as storms erupted across Iowa, 54 of which were in Carroll. By 1 a.m., power was restored in all those homes, a MidAmerican spokeswoman said.

Carroll city crews cleared streets of fallen tree branches for two hours Wednesday night and another two this morning, but the damage was small and could mostly be picked up by hand, Carroll Public Works director Randy Krauel said.

A thick tree limb fell on the front porch of resident Paige Godden’s house on North Main Street near Adams Elementary, plunging part of her porch forward onto her car. Godden, 23, a reporter for the Daily Times Herald, was clearing the porch of curtains, candles and hanging baskets with her roommate Kelsey Luczycki when she saw a branch fall across the street.

Then she heard a crack.

“It fell really slowly actually,” Godden said. “It just kind of came to rest on our cars. It didn’t crunch them, though.”

Aside from some scratches to the paint, the cars were relatively unharmed. No damage estimate for the house was immediately available.

Godden and Luczycki were on the porch at the time of the collapse but were not injured.