Storms slam into northeast Iowa, damaging homes, buildings
Jul. 20, 2017
MCGREGOR, Iowa (AP) — Thunderstorms that powered through northern and northeast Iowa spawned at least one tornado that leveled some buildings and knocked others off their foundations in a small community along the Mississippi River.
McGregor Mayor Harold Brooks said Thursday that an EF-1 tornado with winds between 86 and 110 mph (138 kph and 177 kph) struck his city Wednesday evening, according to a preliminary assessment from the National Weather Service.
"We are trying to get things returned to normal as soon as possible and are working to restore power to the main lines, which will require some tree cleanup," Brooks said. Trees, limbs and brick rubble blocked several streets in the town, which sits 255 miles (349 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines. No injuries have been reported.
An emergency shelter was set up at St. Mary's Catholic Church in McGregor, and the Community Room in the nearby Marquette was made available for McGregor residents needing relief from the heat and a place to recharge their smartphones.
Wind gusts to 75 mph and heavy rain were reported in several Iowa counties, and another tornado was reported 2 miles (3 kilometers) west-southwest of Fort Atkinson. Winneshiek County emergency manager Sean Snyder said downed power lines temporarily trapped residents in a home near Fort Atkinson. No injuries have been reported.
A semitrailer was toppled on Interstate 35 near Hanlontown, authorities said. In Allamakee County, the sheriff's office said a man was trapped in his barn after howling winds blew it over. Dennis Deal, 67, was taken to a Waukon hospital for treatment after first responders pulled him out.