Active with the Air Force Sergeants Association, Roy Bowser Jr. is a military veteran who holds responsibilities as a pilot and independent claims adjuster. Tasked with scoping damage claims spanning flood, fire, hail, and wind, Chief Master Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. (Retired) has an extensive knowledge of risk factors associated with natural disasters.
One major storm that hit the Midwest in 2020 involved a severe derecho across several states, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and eastern Nebraska. Often referred to as “inland hurricanes,” derechos are wind storms that accompany bands of quickly progressing thunderstorms or showers. They are long-lived and spread over a wide geographical area. While the damage they inflict can be similar to tornadoes, the wind does not twist or rotate, instead moving in a roughly straight direction.
Lasting 14 hours from August 10 to August 11, the 2020 derecho stretched across 700 miles and brought winds in the 110 to 140 mph range. With winds similar to a Category 3 to Category 4 hurricane, the derecho primarily damaged cropland. Some 40 percent of Iowa’s soybeans and corn experienced significant damage. Large trees were also uprooted and homes and silos damaged, and roads were made impassable. Four people died in the extreme wind event, the largest derecho since 2009, and total damage reached $7.5 billion.