Greenfield, Lowa Tornado

Greenfield, Lowa Tornado

In Greenfield, Iowa, a tornado wreaked havoc, claiming multiple lives and leaving behind a trail of destruction. Homes were obliterated, cars were crushed, and trees were splintered. The powerful winds even toppled massive wind turbines outside the town.

The tornado struck the small community of 2,000 residents, causing extensive damage to buildings, including the local hospital. As a result, around a dozen injured individuals had to be transported to other medical facilities, according to Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla.

 

While the exact number of fatalities was not immediately disclosed, Sgt. Dinkla confirmed the tragic loss of lives during a press conference on Tuesday night. Search efforts were ongoing to ensure all residents were safe, with additional searches planned if any individuals were reported missing.

 

The Adair County Health System established a triage center at the Greenfield high school to provide medical assistance to those in need. The storm system then moved eastward, affecting parts of Illinois and Wisconsin and leaving over 130,000 customers without power in these states.

 

The tornado left a devastating impact on Greenfield, situated approximately 55 miles (90 kilometers) southwest of Des Moines, amidst a day marked by multiple tornadoes, giant hail, and heavy rainfall across several states.

 

In response to the situation, authorities enforced a mandatory curfew for the town and restricted entry to residents only until Wednesday morning. Additionally, media representatives were instructed to vacate the city by Tuesday night.

Greenfield, Lowa Tornado

In the aftermath of the storm, the landscape was strewn with debris, including mounds of broken wood, branches, car parts, and other remnants where homes once stood. Even the trees that remained standing were stripped of their limbs and leaves. Despite the devastation, residents rallied together to salvage furniture and belongings scattered in every direction.

 

Rogue Paxton, who sought shelter in the basement of his home during the storm, recounted the harrowing experience. Although he initially feared the worst for his house, he expressed gratitude that his family emerged unharmed. However, he acknowledged the widespread impact on the community, with his brother Cody’s house being among those severely affected. Despite the challenges ahead, Paxton found solace in the unity and support shown by neighbors, recognizing that they would persevere through the ordeal together.

 

Multiple tornadoes wreaked havoc across the state, with reports indicating that several 250-foot (76-meter) wind turbines in southwest Iowa were toppled by one of the tornadoes. Some of these turbines even caught fire, sending plumes of smoke billowing into the air.

 

Despite being engineered to withstand extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes and hurricanes, wind farms faced significant damage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turbines are equipped with safety mechanisms to shut off when winds surpass certain thresholds, typically around 55 mph (89 kph). They are also designed to lock and feather their blades, and turn into the wind to minimize stress.

 

Greenfield, renowned for its welcoming ambiance and tree-lined streets, was left reeling in the aftermath of the storm. Mary Long, the proprietor of Long’s Market in downtown Greenfield, recounted sheltering at her business located in the community’s historic town square, which remarkably escaped major damage. However, Long observed extensive damage on the east and south sides of the town, underscoring the widespread impact of the tornadoes.

 

“I could hear this roaring, like the proverbial freight train, and then it was just done,” she said.

Camille Blair, who works at the Greenfield Chamber of Commerce office, shared her experience of the tornado. The office closed around 2 p.m. as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm.

 

“I can see from my house it kind of went in a straight line down the road,” she said of the tornado’s path.

Governor Kim Reynolds expressed plans to visit Greenfield on Wednesday morning, acknowledging the recent string of tornadoes that have impacted Iowa communities.

 

“It was just a few weeks ago that tornadoes hit several other Iowa communities, and it’s hard to believe that it’s happened again,” she said in a statement. “Iowans are strong and resilient, and we will get through this together.”

 

In southwestern Iowa, social media videos captured a tornado just northwest of Red Oak. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings for areas near towns such as Griswold, Corning, Fontanelle, and Guthrie Center.

 

Iowa was on alert for severe weather following forecasts from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, which indicated a high chance of severe thunderstorms with the potential for strong tornadoes across most of the state. Des Moines public schools took precautionary measures by ending classes two hours early and canceling evening activities.

 

The storms and tornado warnings extended into Wisconsin Tuesday evening and night, including a warning for the capital, Madison.

 

Earlier in the day, residents in Omaha, Nebraska, woke up to blaring sirens and widespread power outages as torrential rain, high winds, and large hail battered the area. The downpour led to flooded basements and submerged cars, with firefighters shown rescuing people from vehicles on television station KETV.

 

In Illinois, dust storms prompted authorities to close sections of two interstates due to low visibility. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph (74 kph) were reported in the McLean area, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Schaffer.

 

These storms followed days of extreme weather that have devastated much of the middle section of the country. Strong winds, large hail, and tornadoes swept through parts of Oklahoma and Kansas late Sunday, causing damage to homes and injuring two individuals in Oklahoma.

 

On Monday night, another round of storms hit Colorado and western Nebraska, with the city of Yuma, Colorado, experiencing hail the size of baseballs and golf balls. Streets turned into rivers of water and ice due to the intense hailstorm.

 

In Texas, deadly storms struck the Houston area last week, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least eight individuals. These storms, which occurred on Thursday, caused widespread power outages that lasted for days, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity, air conditioning, and relief from the hot and humid weather.

The death toll was revised on Tuesday from seven to eight, including a man who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator after losing power. Additionally, hurricane-force winds wreaked havoc in downtown Houston, reducing businesses and structures to debris and shattering glass in skyscrapers.

 

Bob Oravec, the lead forecaster at the National Weather Service, warned that the system is expected to shift southward on Wednesday, bringing further severe weather to regions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southern Missouri.

 

McFetridge reported from Des Moines, and Beck reported from Omaha. Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis, Josh Funk in Omaha, Colleen Slevin in Denver, and Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.

 

Greenfield, Lowa Tornado

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