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Guthrie County continues recovery from historic December storms

Robert Kempf with Guthrie County Emergency Management said up to 75% of the county had wind damage from last week's storms.

BAYARD, Iowa — It's been one week since the December derecho tore through Iowa, and towns across the state are still picking up the pieces.

One of them is Deb Smith, a resident of Bayard. 

"First thing I heard down in the basement was just a crash of glass, and then a thud. And that was it," she said.

Smith and her husband Lynn live in Bayard—but right now, they aren't staying in their home. It was totaled during the storm.

"Mother-in-law and I were in the basement. [My husband] was looking out the window. And so he kind of got thrown down the stairs as he was running towards the basement. It was coming down," Smith said.

Smith is one of the hundreds of Iowans who lost valuables in the storm. Robert Kemp with Guthrie and Adair County Emergency Management says that what made last week's storm so dangerous was the amount of time that it was a threat. Most of the damages--were actually the result of high winds.

"Luckily weren't as bad as they were up north in a lot of places. But it was very widespread. We pretty much had wind damage throughout probably three, two-thirds to three-fourths of Guthrie County," Kempf said.

RELATED: Explainer: What is a derecho? And was Wednesday's storm in Iowa one?

Now, cleanup and repair efforts are underway. Guthrie County has asked the state of Iowa to use the state Individual Assistance Program, which can provide residents up to $5,000 to help with paying for repairs. In the meantime, neighbors have banded together to fix what they can.

"Into the late night, and the next day, you know, Thursday and Friday, and even over the weekend of neighbors doing what neighbors do. Getting out and helping their neighbor get their damages cleaned up," Kempf said.

"It's just been overwhelming. The amount of people that have sent that they're thinking of us and offered to help and everything, so it's been great," Smith said.

While there were no fatalities in the area during the storm, he's currently estimating that it caused $4,000,000 in damages across Guthrie County. That total may increase as repairs continue.

If you're looking to stay aware of any sorts of safety threats in your area, you can sign up for emergency notifications at the Iowa Homeland Security website, underneath emergency management.

Watch Local 5's coverage of the historic storms on YouTube

RELATED: Officials assessing storm damages in Webster County

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