Public Safety

Wind flips semi during Wednesday storms, killing Dike man

2 EF1 tornadoes confirmed in Eastern Iowa

One man died when wind blew over his semi-trailer truck in Butler County on Wednesday evening, as strong storms moved through the state, knocking out power to thousands of homes.

The National Weather Service also confirmed two tornadoes touched down in Eastern Iowa, with damage reported to farm outbuildings, power lines and trees.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office identified the semi driver as James A. Budlong, 70, of Dike, who was on Highway 57 near Parkersburg around 5:38 p.m.

Mitch Nordmeyer, Butler County emergency management coordinator, said Budlong had pulled off his truck off the road because of the storm, and wind blew over the truck, trapping him inside the cab. The trailer was empty.

Also, Nordmeyer said, a machine shed collapsed north of Allison, trapping a man inside. He was rescued by Aplington fire and ambulance crews and taken to a hospital, but further information on his condition was not available.

Twisters

The National Weather Service said an EF1 tornado — with winds of 110 mph — touched down 7 miles northeast of Washington at 7:16 p.m. Another EF1 tornado was reported 1 mile east of Richland in Keokuk County at 7:20 p.m.

A third tornado touched down briefly near Alton in Sioux County in northwest Iowa at 7:10 p.m.

Rain

In Butler County, Nordmeyer said as much as 3 inches of rain fell in isolated locations, with the city of Greene taking the brunt, with damage to two downtown businesses.

Damage also was reported in Allison and Parkersburg.

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Cedar Rapids and Iowa City reported around an inch of rain, with flash flood warnings following the rapid passing of the storm front.

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