Tornado reduces town in Iowa to rubble, kills many

Published May 23, 2024
A view of damage outside a hospital in Greenfield, Iowa, on Wednesday. The hospital was evacuated after a tornado struck the previous day.—Reuters
A view of damage outside a hospital in Greenfield, Iowa, on Wednesday. The hospital was evacuated after a tornado struck the previous day.—Reuters

Greenfield (Iowa): A powerful tornado ripped through a small Iowa town on Tuesday, killing multiple people and leaving at least a dozen injured, authorities said.

Images from the town of Greenfield show a path of utter destruction, with homes reduced to splinters, debris strewn everywhere and several large wind turbines toppled. “This tornado has devastated a good portion of this town,” said Sgt. Alex Dinkla, a spokesperson with the Iowa State Patrol, during an evening press conference in Greenfield.

“We can confirm there have been multiple fatalities with this tornado.” Dinkla did not provide a death toll, but said it may not be before Wednesday that figures could be provided.

At least a dozen people in Greenfield, a town of about 2,000 people, were injured in the twister, Dinkla said. Because the local hospital sustained damage in the storm, those people had to be transferred to facilities in nearby towns. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said she would visit Greenfield on Wednesday morning.

“While it’s too soon to know the storm’s full impact, answers will come in the hours and days ahead,” Reynolds said in a statement.

The governor said the state would provide its full resources to help the impacted areas recover, and reassured residents that support was in place working to provide shelter, food and water, and restore power to thousands of residents.

“I’ve lived here all my life. I’m just praying that everyone was safe, that everybody’s safe, and nobody got hurt,” Valerie Warrior, a Greenfield resident, told CBS affiliate KCCI TV in an interview, standing near some of the demolished dwellings. “It was scary, very scary.” Other video showed smashed vehicles and heavy damage to a gasoline station in Greenfield, the county seat of Adair County, which along with adjacent Adams County appeared to have borne the brunt of the Iowa storms in the southwestern corner of the state.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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