Iowa Tornado Horror as Death Toll Rises as Greenfield Faces Destruction; Wisconsin also Affected


A strong tornado tore through a small Iowa town on Tuesday, killing several and hurting at least twelve. The tornado left behind a sad scene of destroyed homes and businesses, torn trees, smashed cars, and a lot of other debris.

Much of the town of Greenfield, which has about 2,000 people and is 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) southwest of Des Moines, was destroyed by the tornado. It was one of many tornadoes, big hail, and heavy rain that day in several states.

“We do have confirmed deaths,” Sgt. Alex Dinkla of the Iowa State Patrol said at a news conference Tuesday night. He said that the police were still figuring out the exact number, but they thought they had found all of the people who lived in the town.

Dinkla said that at least a dozen people were hurt, and that Greenfield was completely destroyed, even the small hospital in the town. Patients had to be moved to other facilities in towns close by.

Tuesday night, the Adair County Health System said on Facebook that it had set up a care center at the Greenfield high school. People who need medical help should go there.

The government said that only locals would be able to enter Greenfield until Wednesday morning, and they told reporters to leave the city Tuesday night.

After the storm, some parts of Greenfield looked like they had been destroyed. Lots that used to be homes were filled with piles of broken wood, twigs, car parts, and other junk. The sky was gray and gloomy, and broken-down cars and houses sat crooked on the ground. Trees stood there with almost no leaves or stems. People in the area helped each other get furniture and other things out of homes that were almost completely destroyed or covered in debris.

Iowa Tornado Horror as Death Toll Rises as Greenfield Faces Destruction; Wisconsin also Affected (1)

Several tornadoes were seen across the state, and one is said to have destroyed several 250-foot (76-meter) wind towers in southwest Iowa. Some of the blades caught fire, sending thick clouds of smoke into the air. The fires were still going strong hours later.

Wind farms are made to stand up to storms, tornadoes, and other strong winds. The U.S. Department of Energy says that windmills are made to turn off when winds reach certain speeds, usually around 55 mph (88.5 kph). For less stress, they also lock and feather their blades and turn into the wind.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said that most of Iowa would likely have heavy thunderstorms with the chance of strong tornadoes. This meant that the state was already ready for bad weather. Before the storms, Des Moines public schools let out two hours early and canceled all events for the evening.

Storms and tornado warnings moved into Wisconsin Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. One of the alerts was for Madison, the state capital.

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