Many Iowans are cleaning and repairing their homes today after last night’s severe storms. A tornado accompanied severe weather that carved a wide path of destruction through northwest Iowa last night. The storm left a trail of damage 25 miles long and up to two miles wide in Woodbury County. Several people were reportedly taken to an Ida Grove hospital after lightning hit a garage in the Danbury area. Crops were heavily damaged by hail. Todd Heitkamp, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, says it was a rough night. Heitkamp says many warnings were issued and the tornado was confirmed by a spotter four miles south of Moville in Woodbury County. The extent of the damage is still being assessed. Heitkamp says large hailstones fell on the area. The hail ranged from golf ball-sized to about walnut-sized in Woodbury, O’Brien, Sioux, Franklin and Sac counties. National Weather Service survey crews are out in eastern Iowa, trying to confirm it was a tornado that ripped through the Cedar Rapids area last night. More than 30-thousand customers in Linn County were without electricity because of severe storms overnight. Tom Philip is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Philip says in addition to what is believed to have been a tornado, wind gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour were recorded in the thunderstorm. Philip says lots of trees were blown over, and some buildings were damaged. A roof was ripped off a building in the northwest part of Cedar Rapids at about 11:15 last night, and Philip says that damage was caused by the tornado. Philip says in the next county over, which is Cedar County, several barns were blown over, siding was sucked off of houses and there was lots of tree damage, too.
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