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Home » World » Iowa: Multiple fatalities as tornadoes ravage Midwest, severe storms leave trail of destruction

Iowa: Multiple fatalities as tornadoes ravage Midwest, severe storms leave trail of destruction

Residents in Greenfield were also left injured, and a local hospital suffered tornado damage, prompting the transfer of patients to nearby medical facilities, Sgt Dinkla confirmed, according to CNN.

By Newsd
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Iowa: Multiple fatalities as tornadoes ravage Midwest, severe storms leave trail of destruction

A series of devastating tornadoes wreaked havoc across western Iowa on Tuesday, resulting in multiple fatalities and widespread destruction in several communities, as severe storms continued to pummel the Midwest, CNN reported. In the small city of Greenfield, Iowa, located approximately 50 miles southwest of Des Moines, a destructive storm unleashed a tornado shortly before 5 pm, causing extensive damage to numerous homes and structures, according to Iowa State Patrol spokesperson Sgt Alex Dinkla. “Sadly, we can confirm that there have been fatalities with this tornado,” Dinkla stated during a subsequent news conference, though he refrained from providing further details on the casualties.

Residents in Greenfield were also left injured, and a local hospital suffered tornado damage, prompting the transfer of patients to nearby medical facilities, Sgt Dinkla confirmed, according to CNN. Footage captured by CNN affiliate KCCI depicted the trail of destruction left by the tornado in Greenfield, showcasing decimated homes, flattened structures, heaps of debris, damaged vehicles, and countless uprooted trees. “There is basically nothing left,” remarked Clel Baudler, a former Iowa state representative residing half a mile from Greenfield, emphasising the tornado’s devastating impact.

Tragically, another storm-related fatality occurred in Adams County, Iowa, approximately 90 miles southwest of Des Moines, as confirmed by county medical examiner Lisa Brown. While Brown was unable to provide additional details on the incident, she attributed the death to a tornado. The potent line of thunderstorms that swept through the region on Tuesday prompted a rare “potentially dangerous situation” tornado watch for parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, according to the Storm Prediction Center. This special tornado watch is only issued when there is a high level of confidence in the potential for multiple long-lived and EF2 or stronger tornadoes.

In response to the storm outbreak, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds authorized a proclamation of disaster emergency for 15 counties, enabling state resources to aid in response and recovery efforts. Governor Reynolds announced her intention to visit Greenfield on Wednesday morning to assess the damage firsthand, vowing to provide the full support of the state. As of late Tuesday evening, over 30,000 customers were without power in Iowa, according to Poweroutage.us.

The severe thunderstorm outbreak on Tuesday also posed other serious hazards, including destructive hurricane-strength wind gusts of up to 90 mph and softball-size hail. More than 25 million people across the region were under a Level 3 of 5 or Level 4 of 5 risk of severe thunderstorms, according to the SPC. The largest area of concern for widespread, hazardous impacts centered on much of Iowa, northwest Illinois, southwest Wisconsin, and northern Missouri. Major population centers such as Chicago and Milwaukee were also at risk of damaging storms.

The Des Moines International Airport temporarily closed late Tuesday afternoon as dangerous storms approached the area, prompting tornado warnings. Emergency management officials in Montgomery County, Iowa, confirmed the occurrence of “multiple tornadoes” within the county, though no injuries were reported at the time. Damage assessments were underway, with officials working to clear roads for access to affected properties, as reported by CNN. In addition to tornadoes, flash flooding triggered by heavy rainfall posed a threat for parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, where flood and tornado watches were in effect. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches were possible, with some areas expecting up to 5 inches.

Severe storms were forecasted to peak in the Midwest through Tuesday night, with additional severe thunderstorms expected to develop on Wednesday across a 1,500-mile stretch from Texas to western New York. The possibility of damaging winds, hail, and a few tornadoes persisted, with the region bracing for further impact. The recent onslaught of severe weather across the United States, including the devastating storm in Houston last Thursday, underscored the urgent need for preparedness and resilience in the face of unpredictable natural disasters, CNN reported.

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