At least two tornadoes, perhaps several more, touched down in eastern Iowa last night about nine o’clock, carving a wide path of damage from Cedar Rapids to Muscatine and striking Iowa City and the University of Iowa.
At least one death is reported and numerous injuries. Barbara Mayes is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Davenport. Mayes says there were several reports of tornadoes but they don’t yet know how many hit. Weather Service survey teams are heading out this morning to determine the lengths of the tornado tracks. She says there were multiple reports of tornadoes stretching across north of Cedar Rapids into Anamosa and from Iowa City, down through Muscatine and into Mercer County, Illinois.
Mayes says with this much damage, it’s very fortunate more people weren’t killed. “We also have heard just the one confirmed fatality in Nichols, Iowa, from the tornado that went through there. The fatality occurred at a mobile home. We’ve heard of a few injuries in Iowa City when the tornadoes went through that area and also a few injuries up around in Anamosa.”
Mayes says they can’t yet determine the size of the tornadoes that hit eastern Iowa last night, but she says they must have been quite large, given the degree of destruction they caused. She says “We’ve heard some reports of fairly significant damage in Iowa City, things like buildings partially collapsed and parts of roofs removed, also cars that were tossed around. It sounds fairly significant over there.
Also in Anamosa, we had some structures damaged and again, through Muscatine County, so we’ll be sending out our survey teams to look at those areas today.” Mayes says some areas reported wind gusts in the vicinity of 80 miles an hour.