The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes touched down in eastern Iowa Saturday night. The tornado that struck the north side of Maquoketa in Jackson County was rated an EF1 with winds of 105 miles per hour. A second tornado, rated an EF0, touched down near Goose Lake in Clinton County.
The most serious damage occurred in Maquoketa, where the twister was approximately 150 yards wide and traveled 2.25 miles. Dub Romer’s home was hit by the storm. The winds knocked out his porch, which featured four large, white pillars. “I saw the pillars were gone…I looked out on the west side and the air conditioner was (tipped) over, the fence was down. It was a mess,” Romer said.
The home is still standing, but everything around it is demolished. Trees were uprooted, a nearby shed was leveled and a chimney ended up in his yard. The 90-year-old Romer says he was watching television when the storm rolled through at 7:40 p.m. “I even sat in the chair for about five minutes before I decided to get up and look,” Romer said. “Then I looked and decided we had a bad storm.”
Family and friends spent Sunday cleaning up Romer’s property. “We can replace everything,” Romer said. “I want to thank all my neighbors and friends for what they’ve done.” One person in Maquoketa was injured in the storm, which also damaged an elementary school in town.
No one was hurt and no structures were damaged in the Clinton County community of Goose Lake. The tornado there was on the ground for a half-mile and produced winds of 75 miles per hour, according to survey crews from the National Weather Service.
By Pat Curtis (Radio Iowa) and Alyson Hunt (KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids)