The National Weather Service has determined that a total of five tornadoes touched Monday in western Iowa. Meteorologist Jeff Johnson helped survey some of the damage. He says an E-F-2 tornado struck just west of Missouri Valley in Harrison County, while two E-F-0s hit Montgomery County and two more E-F 0’s landed in Cass County.
The tornado that touched down in Missouri Valley destroyed a 100-year-old home and is blamed for a train derailment that sent 54 empty grain cars off the track. "An EF2 is a little bit stronger of course, with wind speeds of 111 to 135 miles-per-hour," Johnson said. "An E-F 0 has wind speeds of 85 miles-per-hour or less."
No one was injured in the storms. Most of the damage was to farm buildings and trees. This was Iowa’s first tornado event of 2009. Last year, there 105 tornadoes that hit the state. Only nine of them were rated E-F-2 or higher. "If you get above EF3, that’s very rare," Johnson said. "Last year, we only had one, the EF5 in Parkersburg – which was an extremely rare event."