Widespread storm damage was reported in and around Pella after an unexpectedly strong thunderstorm blew threw the area Friday afternoon. A reported wind gust close to 60 miles per hour swept through the community, especially south of downtown and near Highway T-17. A tree was uprooted at East 1st and Peace Street, and numerous large tree branches snapped at Caldwell Park and at numerous houses. Extensive tree damage was also reported in New Sharon and in northern Mahaska County for a severe thunderstorm warning issued just after the storm passed through Pella. Additional damage was reported around Pella Corporation and Central College.
Vermeer Corporation celebrated the company’s 70th anniversary with a dedication ceremony at the home of Vermeer Founders Gary and Matilda Vermeer Friday afternoon. Gary and Matilda’s children Stan and Bob Vermeer, as well as Chair of the Vermeer board Mary Andringa, and grandchildren Vermeer CEO Jason Andringa and Forge Channel Advancement Manager Mindi Vanden Bosch all spoke in front of the Founder’s House to remember the legacy of the family. The Founder’s House is currently under final consideration by the National Park Service in Washington D.C. for the National Register of Historic Places.