A Large Tornado swept through central Iowa on Saturday, killing six people and damaging structures and trees as well as power lines, authorities said.
Four individuals were injured, as well as the 22 who lost their lives when a twister touched down in Madison County’s southwest corner at about 4:30 p.m. Among the fatalities were a child and an adult.
The governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, declared a disaster state for the county, allowing for state resources to be used in response and recovery efforts.
“My heart goes out to all those impacted by today’s devastating storms in our state,” Reynolds added. “My heart is broken right now, but I know Iowans will rise up and come together to assist during this time of need; they already have.”
As a result of the storm, 25 to 30 homes were extensively damaged, according to Diogenes Ayala, director of the Madison County Emergency Management Agency.
“This is the most extreme we’ve seen in a long time,” he added. Officials declined to name the deceased but said they were not all present at the same location.
According to the Des Moines Register, Wendy Burkett said she and two of her three daughters were at home Saturday afternoon when her spouse, Tony, called from a nearby shed where he was working to inform her about a tornado warning.
“As soon as I came outside, my husband and I went out in front of the house, looking down our driveway to the southwest. ‘And then we saw it.’” “Debris was flying about and getting louder and louder,’” she continued.
The family rushed to their basement as the twister passed by in a matter of seconds. She said that a window shattered outwards and water began gushing from the pipes when they clung to each other.
The storm, however, passed by in about a minute, and while the family was unharmed, their house was destroyed amid debris all around them, even within the trees.
The National Weather Service in Des Moines posted later Saturday that preliminary pictures and videos from the damage around Winterset showed it was at least an EF-3 tornado, which is capable of significant devastation, on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
The National Weather Service has announced that weather service personnel will examine the damage on Sunday, when they determine whether it is a Cat 1 or greater event.
From the afternoon until Saturday night, storms that produced tornadoes swept over much of Iowa, causing damage in the Des Moines suburb of Norwalk, locations just east of Des Moines, and other regions of eastern Iowa.
The storms ripped the roofs off of several homes, damaged roads and downed electrical wires, and shredded tree branches.
On social media, pictures showed downed trees, debris, and damaged roofs and automobiles. Power outages affected around 10,000 people in the Des Moines area at one point.
For More Follow Conceptual Revolutions