16:32 PM

Derecho, one year later: unique solution helps Iowa family get back to normal

Doug and Heather Den Adel had seen Iowa storms before, but nothing like this.

“There was a storm coming. As it started coming, things got really dark, the wind picked up more so than we’re used to, then we started watching furniture that never moves start bouncing, so my daughter and I moved downstairs,” said Heather Den Adel. “Water started coming in…leaves started plastering against the house — and we don’t have a whole lot of trees for those leaves to come from, so my question was Why is this happening? This is not typical.”

What happened on August 10, 2020, was anything but typical. Across parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, a historic derecho storm punished the Midwest with rain and hurricane-strength winds in excess of 90 miles an hour.

What is a derecho again?
According to the National Weather Service, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived windstorm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. If the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.

“I had no idea what a derecho was,” said City State Bank Agent Tyler Andersen, the Den Adel’s insurance agent. “We knew there was going to be some rain and started to see the sky turn black. The wind started to pick up, then we saw a dumpster roll by…you could definitely tell something was out of the ordinary.”

As it became clear the storm damage was going to be significant for the Den Adels, Andersen said he was impressed by the sense of urgency he felt from the company he recommended in Nationwide.

“It makes me feel confident as an agent to place the insurance with Nationwide knowing that these are the types of responses," Andersen said. "It’s very important to clients that, if something happens, they’re going to be made whole again.”

With widespread damage, Nationwide couldn’t quickly find suitable housing nearby. Both Andersen and Jensen knew the family wanted to stay as close as they could to tend to their animals. Thinking outside the box, and with input from the Den Adels, Nationwide offered to remodel a minimally damaged building on the Den Adel’s property — adding two bedrooms, a living room and a laundry room — to make it a comfortable place for the family to stay.

The Den Adels called the solution a win-win, helping them stay on their property and near local schools without slowing down repairs. “I just appreciate the fact that they got creative with a way to make us as comfortable as possible through this process,” said Doug Den Adel.

He went on to say the peace of mind that comes from knowing they were protected was important to him. “I feel really good about the insurance we had and the fact that, if something happens to our home, Nationwide is there to make sure we’re covered,” he said. “They stepped up when we needed them to step up and I feel very comfortable with the whole situation.”

“Nationwide just took care of us,” Heather Den Adel said. They understand the importance of it, it’s not just a house, it’s where you live. It’s where you make memories.”

For more information about protecting your home and property, visit https://www.nationwide.com/personal/insurance/homeowners/