Grain bin collapse

A grain bin at the North Iowa Co-op Hutchins location collapsed after the wind blew off the roof on Dec. 13.

BRITT | High winds blew the roof off a grain bin at a Hancock County grain elevator late Wednesday morning, causing the bin to collapse and tip onto an electrical wire.

A power outage was reported shortly before 10:30 a.m. Power was still out for a dozen Alliant Energy customers in the Hutchins area west of Britt early Wednesday afternoon.

The bin fell onto the dryer, taking spouts and catwalks with it, said Tom Grant, site manager at the Hutchins branch of the North Central Co-op.

"Everything landed on the high line or the highway," he said. 

Grant said 10,000 to 15,000 bushels of grain spilled onto the ground when the bin collapsed.  

Alliant, ITC and the Hancock County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene within 10 minutes, according to Grant.

So did the county road crews, who blocked off a portion of 225th Street due to the debris and the downed wire.

Grant said he was expecting an excavator to arrive to get the spouting off the power line.

The co-op has eight employees at the Hutchins site.

"Nobody was hurt," Grant said. "That's a blessing."

Hannah Harmon, owner/operator of nearby Pretty Paws Dog Boarding and Grooming, said the power went out both at the business and her house, which is also located on the property.

She said she and her husband, Tyler, thought it was just the wind at first.

Fortunately, no debris blew onto their property.

"We are getting a generator to keep it warm here," Hannah said. 

Wind gusts of 52 mph were reported at the Mason City Airport at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. 

Most of North Iowa remains under a wind advisory through 6 p.m.

Northwest winds should reach sustained speeds of 30 to 40 mph and even up to 45 mph in a few spots, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts of 40 to 50 may be common, and a few gusts may approach 60 mph.

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