Public Safety

EF1 tornado damages 15 properties in northwest Cedar Rapids

Engine 1 and Truck 1 sit in the bay at the new Cedar Rapids Central Fire Station on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Engine 1 and Truck 1 sit in the bay at the new Cedar Rapids Central Fire Station on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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A tornado roared through northwest Cedar Rapids on Monday night, damaging 15 properties.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm has been classified as an EF1 tornado with wind speeds reaching 100 miles per hour.

Steve O’Konek, Linn County Emergency Management coordinator, said 15 properties were damaged in the tornado, but no one was hurt or killed. The city is providing clean up in these areas.

The tornado passed through the area with wind gusts reaching about 100 mph, O’Konek said. The tornado was on the ground for four or five minutes and “bounced” down in four distinct areas: F Avenue and Wiley Boulevard NW, Jackson Court NW and Amanda Court NW by Jackson Elementary, O Avenue and Hillside Drive NW, and a building was knocked down on Werner Avenue NE, he said.

O’Konek said emergency warning sirens did not go off because the National Weather Service was predicting “tornadic activity,” but radars and trained weather spotters had not detected tornadoes. Meteorologist believe the storm passed over a different front causing the rotation, he said.

“It was dark, it was raining heavily, and people were inside where it was safe where they should have been,” he said.

At least one resident reported seeing a funnel cloud shortly after 9 p.m., according to a news release from the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

Neighborhoods that had significant tree damage will require removal assistance that city officials expect will take up to a week to complete.

City crews will begin with collecting tree debris that is blocking roads.

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Residents can place tree segments no longer than 6 feet between the street curb and the sidewalk of the property for pickup if they live within one of the designated areas affected by Monday’s storms.

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