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1802 Hill Avenue
Suite B103
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
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Local Hazards

Severe Thunderstorms

On average, there are from 40 to 50 days each year that we deal with thunderstorms in Dickinson County. Some of these turn severe, containing winds over 57 miles per hour and/or hail that is one inch in size or larger. Whether severe or not, all thunderstorms contain lightning and that is very dangerous, just by itself. In July of 2010, extremely strong winds struck portions of Dickinson County. A wind gust to 96 miles per hour was recorded west of Spirit Lake.

For more on thunderstorms: Learn how they work


A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground. Each year, several tornadoes touch down in Iowa, most are weak EF0 or EF1 and produce minor damage to trees and structures. Occasionally, we see devastating EF5 tornadoes, producing winds over 200 miles per hour. Tornadoes this size can obliterate homes, just as we saw in 2008 in Parkersburg, Iowa.

For more on tornadoes: Learn how they work

Floods & Flash Floods

Flooding occurs regularly in Dickinson County, especially along the Little Sioux River. Flooding, here, is usually contained to surrounding fields and pastures. Occasionally, the river will rise to the point of closing a few local gravel roads.

Occasionally, periods of heavy rains can cause street flooding in our area. Rain falls so fast that storm drains can't keep up and the street floods. Never attempt to drive through a flooded street.

For more on floods: Learn how they work

Winter Weather

Residents of northwest Iowa know that the winter months can be long, cold and snowy. Winter storms can be fierce with high winds, heavy snow, and bitterly cold wind chills. Being prepared for these storms is critical. Winter storms can rage for several hours or even for days, and it could be many hours or days before roads can be reopened or power restored. You should be prepared to spend, at a minimum, 72 hours on your own.

For more on winter storms: Learn how they work


Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to:

  • Create fear among the public.
  • Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
  • Get immediate publicity for their causes

Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks; and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.

Be Prepared

Being prepared can help prevent or minimize the impact on you and your property. Find out how to prepare for various situations here.

We're StormReady!

Dickinson County and eight communities have been certified “StormReady” by the National Weather Service. For more information, click here.

IEMA Member

Iowa Emergency Management AssociationDickinson County Emergency Management is a member of the Iowa Emergency Management Association. To learn more about IEMA, visit their website at