116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Tornadoes ripped up grain bins, smashed at least one house and downed power lines as severe storms swept Wednesday evening across northern Iowa, according to reports to the National Weather Service.
Sirens briefly sounded Wednesday night in northern Cedar Rapids when a funnel cloud was reported near Palo, but the National Weather Service, as of 9 p.m., had not reported any sightings of touchdowns in Linn County.
The tornado reports began about 4 p.m. when the Iowa State Patrol reported trees were down and a house damaged around Lake City north of Carroll. A flurry of more reports quickly followed, with nearly a dozen tornado sightings only about a half hour later around Story City.
Yet more tornado sightings were reported in the Mason City area and north of Waterloo -- where a house was reported “completely destroyed” near Waverly and grain bins and power lines were reported damaged in Shell Rock. In Manchester, trained spotters reported seeing two separate tornadoes.
Hail -- including in Cedar Rapids and northwest of Waterloo -- was reported accompanying the severe storms., which also brought heavy straight-line winds and rainfall to some areas. According to a statewide power outage map by PowerOutage.Us, there were 7,200 customers in Iowa without power as of 9 p.m. Most were concentrated in Calhoun County -- around Lake City -- and in Fayette, Delaware, Buchanan, Black Hawk, Benton and Tama counties.
The National Weather Service predicted an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms overnight for areas north of Highway 30, including Cedar Rapids. The weather service forecast 70 to 80 percent chances of rain Thursday in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas.