Foam Core Sign Withstands Once-in-a-Decade Derecho Storm

It is a rare occasion that a sign will be subjected to a major weather phenomenon within eight years of installation, let alone two such events. However, that’s what happened to the entrance sign in Springville, Iowa. The 17’ x 7‘ x 3’ custom monument sign was installed in 2012 and has since survived both a tornado and a Derecho in the years that followed.

“I’m extremely impressed with the durability of thspringville_full_derecho_stormis sign after surviving a near hit by a tornado, followed by those Derecho winds.”

– Brett Rickard, Owner Rickard Sign Company

Made of an expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core, the sign features EIFS stacked stone and foam lettering fully encapsulated by Signs By Benchmark’s signature polyurea hardcoat.

The hardcoat finish provides the durability to withstand the elements, including a nearby tornado in 2014. According to Rickard, the tornado touched down 100 yards from the sign and sucked the two caps off the top, but caused no other damage.

Derechos are a once-in-a-decade line of severe storms that can result in intermittent straight-line winds in the 100-130 miles per hour range, which can last longer than half an hour. The storms that hit Springville on August 10, 2020, were part of a strong Derecho that devastated much of Eastern Iowa and parts of Illinois.

With only the caps replaced since the 2014 tornado, the Springville sign weathered upwards of 140 miles per hour wind gusts for almost an hour and escaped with no reportable damage. Whereas mature trees were uprooted, buildings leveled, and steel bars twisted by the extraordinary forces of nature, this Signs By Benchmark product not only survived but escaped all effects of the storm. That’s a powerful testament to the durability and high quality you can expect with a Signs By Benchmark product.

To learn more about the durability of our sign products, contact our team at 800-658-3444 or