Reports of Damage and Deaths Follow Tornadoes in Iowa

Tornadoes in Iowa

“Iowa Faces Multiple Rounds of Storms, Triggering Severe Weather Alerts Throughout the State

Tornadoes in Iowa

On Tuesday, Iowa experienced a series of storms, each bringing severe weather warnings to the Hawkeye State.

 

The day started with a round of rain moving through central Iowa in the early morning hours. By mid-morning, a severe thunderstorm passed through, followed by another round of storms in the afternoon, which prompted multiple tornado warnings across the state. As evening approached, residents in western and central Iowa began cleaning up and evaluating the extent of the damage.”

 

“Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to Visit Greenfield Following Deadly Tornado

Governor Kim Reynolds plans to visit Greenfield on Wednesday morning in response to the devastating tornado that struck the small city, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries. In a statement issued around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Governor Reynolds expressed condolences and solidarity with the affected communities and families. She emphasized her commitment to providing all necessary state resources to support the response and recovery efforts.

Tornadoes in Iowa

The statement further detailed the ongoing efforts, mentioning that state and local officials are actively assessing the situation and establishing temporary shelters for those displaced by the storm. First responders and healthcare providers are present to assist the injured, while utility crews are working tirelessly to restore power to affected areas. The State Emergency Operations Center is coordinating relief missions to aid local responders.

 

As the situation continues to unfold, Governor Reynolds assured that further updates will be provided in the coming hours and days.”

 

“It’s been only a few weeks since tornadoes struck several Iowa communities, and the recurrence of such devastation is truly difficult to comprehend. However, I have full faith in the strength and resilience of Iowans, and together, we will overcome this challenge.

 

Tomorrow morning, I intend to visit Greenfield to survey the damage alongside local officials and initiate the recovery efforts.”

 

Wind turbines toppled by tornado
Geoff Greenwood from MidAmerican Energy reported Tuesday that the Des Moines utility was aware of several wind turbines in Adair County “which bore the brunt of a large tornado” and were either damaged or completely destroyed. He mentioned that the company was still evaluating the extent of losses in areas affected by the storm.

 

A video circulating on social media, purportedly captured near Greenfield, depicts a tornado tearing apart one turbine after another. Another video shows twisted turbines engulfed in flames near Prescott in Adams County, located southwest of Adair County.

 

Greenwood mentioned the difficulty in pinpointing the exact location of the video from Adair County. However, MidAmerican officials have examined footage from Adams County and confirmed that the turbines shown in those videos do not belong to the company.

 

Just over an hour had elapsed since a tornado struck the house of June and Larry Handsacker near Nevada, off of 650th Avenue, and their family was already at the site, salvaging cherished belongings from the ruins.

 

For June Handsacker, those precious items included her dolls.

“All my dolls!” she exclaimed, gesturing towards a china cabinet that remained nearly intact just inches away from where the tornado had split their home in half. “And those were just the dolls I bought, not the ones I made.”

 

June had been in the dining room when the tornado tore through their home. She had briefly left her husband in the basement to fetch her phone when insulation began raining down around her. They had to navigate through the debris to escape.

 

“I have over 100 porcelain dolls — ceramic pieces I made,” Handsacker shared. “We don’t know where they are yet. It’ll be a matter of getting in there.”

 

June recalled how her own grandparents lost their home during the five-tornado outbreak that struck Charles City in 1968. Her grandfather was trapped in his car for three days.

 

Reflecting on their own fortunate escape, June and her husband believe that they were watched over by God.

 

“It pays to teach Sunday school!” she exclaimed. “Do you know how horrible those kids behave?”

 

Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster emergency proclamation covering 15 counties: Adair, Adams, Cass, Clay, Hardin, Harrison, Jasper, Kossuth, Marshall, Montgomery, Page, Palo Alto, Pottawattamie, Tama, and Warren.

 

Under this proclamation, the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program offers grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. These grants can be used for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses.

 

The Disaster Case Advocacy Program is designed to assist individuals with serious needs arising from disaster-related hardship, injury, or adverse conditions. This program does not have any income eligibility requirements and will remain open for assistance for 180 days from the date of the governor’s proclamation.

 

6:45 p.m.: Johnston High School cancels classes Wednesday after storm causes ‘extensive’ damage
Johnston High School will not hold classes on Wednesday due to significant damage sustained from Tuesday afternoon’s storms, the Johnston Community School District announced on social media.

 

As a result of the damage, the senior awards ceremony scheduled for Tuesday night has been postponed. Staff members have been advised not to report to the building on Wednesday for their safety.

 

District spokesperson Lynn Meadows informed the Des Moines Register that extensive damage has affected the entire building, including shattered glass, roof damage, a destroyed shed, and a torn-off overhead door at Johnston High School.

 

As of Tuesday evening, no decision has been made regarding classes at the high school for the remainder of the week following Wednesday. Thursday was initially scheduled to be the last day of school for seniors.

 

Red Oak Mayor Shawnna Silvius, in a Facebook post, confirmed that there were no reported injuries following an apparent tornado touchdown in the area, after a search and rescue operation.

 

Silvius mentioned that the city street department’s building is likely a loss due to the tornado, and there were multiple downed powerlines. She also reassured that city street and wastewater employees who were present during the tornado touchdown are shaken up but all are safe.

 

A tornado warning has been issued for Independence, Vinton, and Winthrop in northeast Iowa. The warning indicates a radar-indicated tornado and the threat of quarter-sized hail. This warning is set to expire at 7 p.m.

 

No tornadoes will be officially confirmed until the National Weather Service dispatches survey crews to Iowa.

 

Unofficial reports from trained weather spotters throughout Tuesday included sightings in various locations:
– Southwest Iowa: Cromwell, Prescott, Corning, Carbon, Red Oak, and Villisca.

– Greenfield in southwest Iowa appeared to be particularly hard hit.
– Central Iowa: Unconfirmed reports in Nevada, rural Story County, and southeast of Polk City.

6:13 p.m.: More than 58,000 without power in Iowa
MidAmerican Energy reports over 33,000 power outages across western and central Iowa, including 26,000 in the Des Moines metro area and nearly 3,500 in Fort Dodge.

 

Nearly 17,000 Alliant Energy customers are without power, with many in southwest Iowa. The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives reports over 7,600 customers without power.

 

6:10 p.m.: Storm, tornado damage reports coming in to National Weather Service
The National Weather Service receives reports from volunteer weather spotters across Iowa. Some of the reports include:

 

– A 71 mph wind gust southeast of Newton.
– Roof blown off and trees down just east of Johnston.
– Snapped utility poles in Windsor Heights.
– Trees down on homes and power lines in Mason City.
– A tree on a house in Carlisle.
– Damaged grain bins and trees in Hanlontown, Worth County.
– 1.5-inch hail east of Melrose in Monroe County.
– Cropland and basement flooding in Altoona.

Tornadoes in Iowa

6:05 p.m.: Story County asks people to stay away from tornado damage
Melissa Spencer, the emergency management coordinator for Story County, reported tornado damage in rural areas near Cambridge and the south side of Nevada. She urged people to avoid damaged areas to ensure safety. Spencer stated, “We’re getting a lot of people that are coming to look and see what happened.”

 

6:00 p.m.: Traffic limited in Greenfield after tornado hits, damages hospital
A strong tornado struck Greenfield, Iowa, causing extensive damage and injuries. Former state Rep. Clel Baudler described the chaotic scene, with ambulances rushing in and out of the town. The Adair County Hospital and the Greenfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center suffered damage, with evacuations underway.

Tornadoes in Iowa

6:00 p.m.: Delays reported at Des Moines airport; passengers take shelter
Des Moines International Airport halted flights due to severe thunderstorm warnings. Passengers and staff were directed to safe areas within the terminal. As of 5:45 p.m., Transportation Security Administration screening stations were beginning to reopen, with flight operations expected to resume shortly.

Tornadoes in Iowa

5:55 p.m.: Overturned semis cause backup on Interstate 35 near Elkhart
Multiple semitrailers overturned along southbound Interstate 35 near Elkhart, Iowa, causing significant traffic congestion. Emergency crews responded to the scene to address the situation.

 

5:06 p.m.: Tornado warning issued near I-80 for Newton
A tornado warning was issued for Newton, Colfax, and Baxter until 5:30 p.m., with potential threats including a radar-indicated tornado and quarter-sized hail.

Tornadoes in Iowa

4:57 p.m.: ‘Damaging tornado’ reported near Nevada
A tornado warning was issued for Nevada, Huxley, and State Center until 5:30 p.m., indicating the presence of a damaging tornado and possible quarter-sized hail.

 

4:50 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for Iowa Falls area
A tornado warning was issued for Iowa Falls, Alden, and Radcliffe until 5:30 p.m., with potential threats including a radar-indicated tornado and quarter-sized hail.

 

4:45 p.m.: Des Moines tornado warnings include ‘observed tornadoes’
Tornado warnings were issued for Des Moines, Altoona, and Norwalk until 5:15 p.m., indicating observed tornadoes and the possibility of half-dollar-sized hail.

 

4:20 p.m.: Tornado warning includes Ankeny, Johnston, and Waukee
A tornado warning was issued for parts of the Des Moines metro area until 5:00 p.m., accompanied by a radar-indicated tornado threat and possible quarter-sized hail.

Tornadoes in Iowa

3:55 p.m.: Flood warning issued for Fourmile Creek in Des Moines
A flood warning was issued for Fourmile Creek on the east side of Des Moines, with potential impacts including flooding of low-lying areas.

 

3:40 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for Greenfield, Winterset, Earlham
Tornado warnings were issued for Greenfield, Winterset, and Earlham until 4:15 p.m., indicating the presence of a tornado threat.

 

3:14 p.m.: Tornado reported near Corning, Prescott
Tornado warnings continued in southwest Iowa, including areas around Corning, Orient, and Prescott until 4:00 p.m. Reports of tornado sightings prompted urgent alerts.

Tornadoes in Iowa

3:05 p.m.: Damaging tornado reported in southwest Iowa
A tornado warning remained in effect for Fontanelle, Orient, and Bridgewater until 3:45 p.m., with reports of a damaging tornado on the ground.

 

3:00 p.m.: Tornado reported in Red Oak, Iowa; warnings in southwest Iowa
Reports confirmed a tornado in Red Oak, prompting warnings for surrounding areas. Alerts extended to Essex, Hepburn, Stanton, and Villisca until 3:30 p.m., indicating ongoing tornado threats.

Tornadoes in Iowa

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