Public Safety

Tornado ousts tenants from Oelwein apartments

Hail, heavy rains reported from Saturday night's storms

Damage to an apartment garage on west side of Oelwein. (Fayette Co. EMA via National Weather Service)
Damage to an apartment garage on west side of Oelwein. (Fayette Co. EMA via National Weather Service)
/

A Saturday evening tornado drove tenants from an Oelwein apartment building as the fast-moving storms spewed hail and downpours across Northeast Iowa.

According to the National Weather Service office in La Crosse, Wis., a rain-wrapped EF-1 tornado, with peak winds of 107 mph, formed about 6:30 p.m. west of Oelwein. It damaged a 12-plex apartment building and uprooted trees on the west side of town as it lifted and made an approximately 4 mile dash toward Maynard, the weather service said.

Winds tore off part of a wall at the Buffalo Run Apartments and damaged siding and gutters on a second building at the complex, the Waterloo Courier reported.

Lonnie Robbins was home at the time and watched from his front door as winds started to rip through Buffalo Run.

“They always say about the train, and I heard something go whoosh, and I even felt it,” he told the Courier. “It ripped the hallway wall off, smacked that into my apartment, and when it did that, it knocked a hole in my apartment.”

The Red Cross was assisting 12 families displaced by the storm. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Sunday.

About 10 or 15 minutes later, the same tornado — now weakened to EF-0 status with peak winds estimated at 83 mph — touched down near Maynard and caused damage to several farms, the weather service said.

No injuries were reported at either location.

Spotters also reported brief but heavy rains and hail in many Northeast Iowa locations, including hail of up to an inch in diameter in Elkader.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.