A two-story building listed on the National Register of Historic Places was reduced to rubble after a tornado ripped through downtown McGregor in northeast Iowa Wednesday evening.
The EF1 twister traveled down the city’s Main Street, where resident Anne Kruse says a massive cleanup effort is underway. “They had to rope off the worst buildings – the bricks and things are still falling off – that’s going to be a much bigger project. A lot of these large plate glass windows were blown out. People are picking up glass out of the road,” Kruse said.
Fortunately, there are no reports of injuries from the McGregor tornado. Kruse was at a meeting downtown at the time. After the tornado passed, she stepped outside. “Debris blown everywhere. Close to the river, the damage to the buildings wasn’t as bad. But as you went farther up Main Street, inland, that’s where the damage to the buildings got very, very severe,” Kruse said.
McGregor’s City Hall is among the damaged buildings. McGregor Mayor Harold Brooks is urging people to stay away from the town while crews work to restore power.
The tornado was part of a powerful storm system that brought high winds and heavy rain to much of northeast Iowa. Across the region, there’s damage to homes, crops, trees and power lines.
Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette and Winneshiek counties.
(Thanks to Katarina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio. Additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis)