Severe storms that ripped through Iowa this morning toppled trees and damaged homes, farm buildings and electrical lines. Alliant Energy reported having 50,000 customers without power – primarily in Marshalltown.

MidAmerican Energy crews are working to restore power to a few thousand customers – mainly around Des Moines and Davenport. National Weather Service Meteorologist Frank Boksa blames strong winds of 60-plus miles an hour. “It looks like the strongest one we had measured was 80 miles per hour and that was three (miles) west of Marshalltown,” Boksa said.

Damage assessment teams from the National Weather Service have been dispatched to Story, Marshall and Tama Counties. Boksa says the ground is so saturated from rain that it’s easier for trees to be blown over, so it may difficult to determine the exact strength of the winds. Damage to homes and vehicles is also reported in Vinton in east-central Iowa.

Rainfall totals include 1.89 inches in Spencer and 1.46 inches in Pocahontas. A Heat Advisory is posted for the southern half of Iowa through 7 p.m. Boksa says more severe weather’s in the forecast for tonight.

“We’re looking at, potentially, some additional development late this afternoon or early evening out to the west,” Boksa said. The threat of severe weather will hang around through Thursday.

Photo courtesy of Angie Asbe, Vinton