116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Storm survey teams for the National Weather Service have confirmed that nine tornadoes — two of them deadly — struck Iowa over the weekend as severe weather moved quickly across the state.
One of the Saturday evening tornadoes, an EF-4 with peak winds of 170 mph, was on the ground for nearly 70 miles between Winterset and Newton, leaving the longest path of destruction since a 1984 tornado that carved a path 117 miles long.
It killed six people in rural Winterset, four of them from the same family seeking shelter in a home’s pantry because the house had no basement. The children and their parents, from Blue Springs, Mo., were visiting their grandmother, Melissa Bazley, 63, when the tornado hit. The storm killed Bazley, Michael Bolger, 37, and two of his three young children, Kinlee, 5, and Owen, 2.
Two others killed in the same tornado — Rodney Clark, 64, and Cecilia Lloyd, 72 — lived in homes just down the street from Bazley that were also hit.
About an hour later, an EF-3 tornado with estimated peak wind gusts of 138 mph touched down south of Chariton, carving a path through Red Haw State Park, where it killed one camper identified as Jesse Theron Fisher, 40, of Chariton, and injured another. The tornado stayed on the ground for 16.5 miles
Survey crews documented seven other tornadoes, none of which caused fatalities:
- An EF-2 tornado struck near Leon in Decatur County, grazing Garden Grove and Humeston. The tornado, with peak winds estimated at 122 mph, stayed on the ground for 19.1 miles into Lucas County.
- An EF-2 tornado with peak winds estimated at 118 mph touched down in Wayne County, first southwest of Allerton and then carving a 7.5 mile path to east of Corydon.
- An EF-1 with peak winds of 110 mph developed south of Vinton in Benton County, and stayed on the ground for 11 minutes, covering 8.5 miles, before lifting northeast of town.
- An EF-2 tornado with peak winds of 112 mph struck near Kellogg in Jasper County. It then carved a 17.4-mile path through Poweshiek and Tama counties.
- An EF-2 with wind gusts up to 115 mph struck near Tama, and stayed on the ground for 8.6 miles.
- An EF-1 with peak winds of 100 mph struck near Davenport and left a path more than 4 miles long. Survey teams said the storm left damage to outbuildings on farms and trees were snapped.
- A second storm, this one an EF-0, also touched down near Davenport. This storm, with peak winds of 65 mph, carved a path of about a tenth of a mile.