Iowa newspapers work together to deliver the news

This month, a derecho caused significant damage to newspapers across the state. Jennifer Williams, publisher of The Madrid Register-News shares her experience and gratitude for Harlan Newspapers in helping them print their community paper.

When the derecho storm passed through Madrid on Monday, Aug. 10, at approximately 11 a.m., we knew that an entire tree limb approximately 6” in diameter came completely through our metal roof and drywall, right above our Goss Community web press, used to print The Madrid Register-News, along with other area newspapers. Water was coming through the puncture right onto the press. We put plastic over the press to prevent further damage. With the devastation, and no electricity, we closed the office immediately and went to check on our personal properties and help clear roadways in town.

Our business, Wilcox Printing, lost power, phone and internet immediately. On Tuesday, upon closer inspection with a roofing crew, it was discovered that there were at least 10 other holes in the roof, in the same area as the tree limb. On Wednesday, we lost a large portion of our ceiling and drywall, because of the water damage from the holes.

Power was restored to our operation late on Wednesday and we were without phone and internet the entire week. We were able to resume most of our production on Monday, Aug. 17, but we cannot safely print other newspapers until the drywall and roof is repaired in the Goss room. 

 We sincerely appreciate the help that Alan and his crew at Harlan Newspapers, along with many others, were able to provide for us and the newspapers that we normally print. We actually had to skip the Aug. 13 issue of The Madrid Register-News. This is the first issue ever missed, to my knowledge. We did produce a special Derecho section on Aug. 20 featuring photos throughout the prior week.