Reports say as many as seven tornadoes were spotted statewide last night and early this morning. An unidentified woman reports damage to her farm near Williams in north-central Iowa’s Hamilton County. “We have a lot of tree branches down, part of our deck is gone and part of our hog building roof is gone,” she says. Hail, heavy rain and high winds were reported – with gusts up to 75 miles an hour. Tree limbs and whole trees fell, taking out power lines.
MidAmerican and Alliant Energy combined report more than 30,000 Iowa customers without power. Stan Watne is a Wright County supervisor who lives in rural Clarion in north-central Iowa. “We did get a code red warning of a tornado about 5 after 7,” Watne says. “We have had a tremendous amount of rain and high winds.”
Officials with the National Weather Service office in metro Des Moines say they’ll be heading to Clarksville later today after a severe thunderstorm that moved through the area last night shortly before 8 o’clock. Significant property damage was reported to homes, trees and outbuildings in the Butler County town. As of now, it’s not known if the damage was caused by a tornado or straight line winds.
Thunderstorm wind damage was also reported on farms southwest of Plymouth in Cerro Gordo County with roof damage to homes. A machine shed was destroyed northeast of Garner in Hancock County.
Tornadoes were also reported around the Mason City and Clear Lake areas last night between 6:30 and 7 o’clock, but no damage or injuries were reported. Mitchell and Howard County officials report that lightning started a fire in Riceville at about 7:30 last night and caused a widespread power outage.
No deaths and no serious injuries are reported in Iowa from this round of weather.
Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City and Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City contributed to this story.