July 31, 2014

Tornadoes rip through northwest Iowa

Four separate tornadoes touched down in northwest Iowa Friday night according to the National Weather Service, damaging homes and other buildings, but no injuries have been reported.

The strong storm system also generated heavy rain, lightning and hail in some areas, prompting officials to send some of the crowds at high school football games to shelter in locker rooms and other school buildings.  Some schools had moved up the time of kick-off to try to avoid the severe weather that had marched through eastern Nebraska late Friday, causing widespread damage and injuries. Up to three feet of snow was dumped on parts of South Dakota and Wyoming.

Tornado damage was reported in northwest Iowa’s Woodbury, Plymouth and Cherokee Counties. A tornado south of Sioux City was a mile wide according to the county’s emergency management director. It destroyed farmsteads, crops and at least 30 rural homes. Utility companies and rural electric coops report thousands of Iowans lost power during the storms.