116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
More than 12 tornadoes carved paths across Iowa as severe storms Wednesday evening left flattened crops, broken trees and battered buildings in their wake, the National Weather Service reported Thursday.
The weather service dispatched two survey teams to assess the damage and determine how severe the tornadoes were -- one assessing Calhoun and Hamilton counties and another assessing Bremer and Butler counties. But it said more survey teams could be added.
Butler County Emergency Management coordinator Chris Showalter said no houses in his county were destroyed, but two along 250th Street were "affected majorly." One of those had roof shingles and sheeting torn off, exposing the rafters, and a home across the street had a hole in a wall. Showalter wasn't sure if it had been hit by something or blown out by a tornado.
A 2- to 3-mile stretch of 250th Street had other minor damage, Showalter said, including damage to outbuildings like grain bins and machine sheds as well as to corn stalks.
"Luckily, we had no injuries whatsoever with all of the damages that we had," he said.
Of the tornado reports made Thursday afternoon by the weather service -- showing the findings of some but not all of the assessments -- all were rated EF1or lower, with maximum winds in the 86 to 110 mph range. Several were rated as unknown -- they touched down too briefly to leave significant damage. The severity scale goes from EF0 to EF5, which is the worst with winds of over 200 mph.
“Generally south of along the Highway 20 corridor was the hot spot for tornadoes from around Nemaha, Lake City, Stanhope, Jewell, and Waverly,” the weather service’s Des Moines office reported. “Tornadoes were reported around Dysart and south of Mason City. Heavy rain cause flash flooding in Maxwell and pingpong hail was reported in Clarksville.”
The Des Moines office said there were a dozen confirmed tornadoes in its Central Iowa forecast area alone. But there also were reports of tornadoes farther east.
The National Weather Service office in the Quad Cities said two tornadoes touched down briefly in northern Linn County but left no visible damage. One was near Lafayette and the other was near Center Point. There also were several reports of funnel clouds in the county.
The Quad Cities office also reported there was one tornado of unknown strength in Buchanan County; four in Benton County, with no damages reported; and two in Delaware County -- both rated EFI that damaged trees and farm buildings. In addition, the office said there were three tornadoes around Monticello in Jones County, but details about their strength were not yet available.
In yet more severe Wednesday night weather, the National Weather Service office in LaCrosse, Wis., confirmed two tornadoes within it forecast area -- an EF0 near Oelwein in Fayette County and an EF1 near Rockford in Floyd County.
In all the tornadoes, no injuries were reported.
Amie Rivers and Jeff Reinitz of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier contributed to this report.