Locals spot fireball

Some folks in the area, along with others in the Midwest, saw a strange sight on Thursday, Dec. 26 around 5:40 p.m. A fireball could be seen across the sky.

Holly Munkel said, “I was heading home (Lime Springs) from work in Rochester and was a few miles from coming into Spring Valley when I saw what looked to me like a bunch of blue flashes in the sky. Almost like lightning. It only lasted about five seconds, and it was over with. It was about 5:40.”

Keith Klomp said he was looking out the kitchen window and saw the whole backyard light up, “Like someone was driving with their lights on and turned the corner, but not quite.”

Bruce Fortney saw three camera-like flashes that reflected off the neighbor’s roof.

Chelsey Morgan was also going south out of Rochester. She said, “It looked like the lid was being popped open on the earth.”

On social media sites, people from Decorah, Waukon, Calmar, Charles City, Cresco, Denver, Independence and Ankeny all saw the bright lights. Most of the sightings came from the Iowa/Minnesota border, but other states, including Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska and even West Virginia, had reports.

Within 24 hours, the American Meteor Society (AMS) had over 1,050 reports. They claimed it was the third most reported fireball in the group’s history. (If you would like to report an incident, go to http://www.amsmeteors.org/members/fireball/report-a-fireball .)



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