The National Weather Service reported at least three tornadoes touching down in Iowa on Saturday.
- Seven people were killed during the storms, according to AP News.
- The tornadoes were some of the deadliest the state had seen in almost 15 years, according to the Des Moines Register.
Alex Krull, a meteorologist in Des Moines, reported that the tornado in Madison County traveled about 180 miles, with thunderstorms that traveled across 120 miles. The county saw wind speeds of up to 153 miles per hour, according to The New York Times.
The damage from the storms on Saturday has been reported to cause up to $1 billion in damage, according to Victor Gensini, a meteorology professor at Northern Illinois University.
Diogenes Ayala, director of the emergency management agency in Madison County, reported that an estimated 52 houses were destroyed in the storm, according to AP News.
More than 10,000 people in Iowa were without power on Saturday, according to PowerOutage.us.
“Roofs had been torn from homes, neighbors were offering their barns to store salvaged belongings, and debris was strewn across streets,” said Jonathan Barrett, the choir director at Winterset High School, according to The New York Times.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to see firsthand the destruction left behind,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in a Facebook post. “It was even more overwhelming to see the outpouring of support from volunteers. When I had the chance to thank them I heard over and over ‘We’re Iowans, where else would we be,’” said the governor.
The names of those who were killed in the tornado are:
- Melissa Bazley, 63.
- Michael Bolger, 37.
- Kinlee Bolger, 5.
- Owen Bolger, 2.
- Rodney Clark, 64.
- Cecilia Lloyd, 72.
Four of the seven killed in the tornado belonged to the same family. A GoFundMe page was created for the family as the mother of the family, Kuri Bolger, was hospitalized after suffering serious injuries, according to AP News.