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Adams County Tornado rated an EF-3

News, Weather

May 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa) – Officials with the National Weather Service report that a tornado affecting parts of Page, Montgomery and Adams counties has a preliminary rating of EF-3, with estimated peak winds of 140-to 150-miles per hour. The event began at 2:43-p.m. and ended at 3:19-p.m. The 1,300 yard wide tornado traveled 32 miles.

The damage was limited primarily to rural areas of Adams County. Officials say five or six houses were destroyed, two homes sustained major damage, and fences, livestock, and several wind turbines were toppled.

Montgomery County Tornado rated EF-1

News, Weather

May 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Red Oak, Iowa) – The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency reports a tornado that began Tuesday afternoon near Red Oak, was rated as an EF-1, which typically packs winds of 86-to 110-miles per hour. Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman says the brief tornado was confirmed by video, emergency management and a National Weather Service survey team in the southwest sections of Red Oak.
The 75-yard wide tornado began at around 2:37-p.m. south of the railroad tracks about one-quarter of a mile east of G Avenue, damaging trees, before moving into the industrial area south of Coolbaugh Avenue, where the twister damaged a commercial garage. The tornado continued northeast, damaging trees before ending just north of the intersection of West 2nd Street and West Reed Street (just under one-mile from where it started). The survey team continues to collect information from multiple sources, and results are subject to change.

Skyscan Forecast for Atlantic & the Nishna Valley: Thursday, May 23, 2024

Weather

May 23rd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

Today: Sunny & breezy. High near 78. S/SE winds 10-25 mph.
Tonight: Showers & possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 57. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy early w/a 30% chance of thunderstorms. Gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 70. SW-NW winds @ 15-30 mph.
Tom. Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 44.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74.
Sat. Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low around 54.
Sunday: A 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 69.
Sunday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low around 48.
Memorial Day: A 30% chance of showers, otherwise mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

Wednesday’s High in Atlantic was 74. The Low was 52. Last year on this date, the High in Atlantic was 81 and the Low was 50. The record High for May 23rd was 97 in 1939. The record Low was 26 in 1963. Sunrise: 5:54. Sunset: 8:39.

Governor says damage in Greenfield is ‘horrific’

News, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Governor Kim Reynolds says debris in Greenfield needs to be stabilized before volunteers will be able to enter the town to help residents recover from Tuesday’s tornado strike. The governor is hoping to have damage estimates completed by tomorrow (Thursday), so she can submit a request for a presidential disaster declaration that would trigger federal aid.

“We’re going to file for individual assistance again and public assistance,” Reynolds said. “The hospital was damaged and so we want to make sure that we’re providing resources for them as well.” The governor says four injured people were flown out of Greenfield on helicopters to area hospitals last (Tuesday) night, but she cannot confirm the number of people who were killed or injured.

“It’s still a search and rescue and we don’t want to give out any misinformation. That’s one of the reasons we’re keeping the site secure,” Reynolds said. “We wouldn’t want to give out a wrong number and we’re still assessing and there are properties in the country that have been impacted as well so we want to make sure we have an accurate count.” There’s a 10 a.m. to 7 a.m. curfew in Greenfield and people have to show proof they have a Greenfield address in order to enter the community.

John Cooper, Adair County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, says that’s an element of their coordinated search to confirm injuries and deaths in the community. “When we have this many homes that have been destroyed and just fully demolished, we want to make sure every person, every resident is accounted for,” Cooper says. “We’re going to continue doing that and then encountered for, so we’re going to continue doing that and then, once we have those numbers, we’ll send that information out.”

Photo of tornado damage in Greenfield by Melissa Ehrman Johnson

Reynolds spoke with reporters after visiting Greenfield this (Wednesday) morning and she said it appears the damage in Greenfield is worse than what she saw Minden, where 40 percent of homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado a month ago. “It’s just gut wrenching,” Reynolds says. “I was just in Minden…three and a half weeks ago and that was horrific and I think there’s even more debris and more impacted here. It is is horrific. It is hard to describe, until you can see it, the devastation.”

Reynolds is praising the work of meteorologists at the National Weather Service for advance notice of yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) dangerous conditions. “Letting individuals know when it would hit and where it would hit and they were almost spot on,” Reynolds says. “And I tell ya the other reason that was so important…we had a lot of kids still in school and based on the early, advance notice that we got, many of our schools let out early and it hit here (in Greenfield) at three and that would have been the time the kids were on a bus and headed home and it could have been devastating.”

Reynolds is also thanking Greenfield’s hospital staff for their response to the tornado after it damaged their facility. They established a make-shift triage center at Greenfield’s lumber yard to treat people who were injured and set up the transfers for people who needed treatment in a hospital. The state education director has issued a waiver, so the district’s school year is officially over.

The Nodaway Valley High School in Greenfield is serving as an emergency shelter and field hospital for anyone who might be injured during clean-up.

NWS: Greenfield Tornado preliminary assessment – EF3

News, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa) – Officials with the National Weather Service in central Iowa at Noon today (Wednesday) said on social media: “Initial storm surveys have confirmed at least EF-3 damage in Greenfield, Iowa. Additional damage assessment evaluation will continue over the next several days and results are subject to change. Additional tornado paths and ratings will be added as data continues to be collected.

An EF-3 tornado typically packs winds of 136-to-165-miles per hour, according to the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale.

Debris in the form of paperwork was lofted about 40,000-feet into the atmosphere, and landed as far as 90-miles away, according to some media reports. Checks and other items from Greenfield were discovered near Ames and Boone, to name a few locations.

Flash flooding from this week’s storms

News, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Governor Reynolds has declared 15 counties state disaster areas and many of those counties had significant flash flooding from storms that moved through on Monday and Tuesday. Algona got five inches of rain, flooding roads and basements. Flash flooding in the Newton area stranded vehicles and closed roads, including a portion of Highway 5. Applington-Parkersburg and Dike-New Hartford schools are closed today (Wednesday) due to flooding. In Clay County, there was rain and hail on Monday night, then more rain on Tuesday. Clay County Emergency Management director says the small community of Webb and surrounding areas were hard hit.

“They received a substantial amount of rain down on some rural areas in southeastern Clay County, so there’s some roads closed down there,” he says. “It’s just a high water table right now and we need to be aware of it.” Strong winds last (Tuesday) night broke the Queen Two cruise boat loose on West Lake Okoboji. Jon Pausley, manager of the Arnolds Park Amusement Park, says there’s no visible damage above the water line.

“We had the Queen tied up to the dock there,” Pausley says. “The rope that was holding the backside broke and then the wind just started turning it sideways and even though we had a bunch of us from the boardwalk and bunch of our staff come down trying to pull it back in or get close enough to hop somebody on board to turn the engines on and push it back, the wind just kept beating up against it and turned it sideways against the dock, took out a little of the dock.” It appears the keel of the boat is sitting on the beach. A barge service is going to try to pull the boat back to the dock today (Wednesday).

“Then assess what, if any, damage is there,” Pausley says. “We certainly know we lost some paint. That can be fixed, so we’re hopeful nothing else underneath is going to be an issue.” The Queen Two underwent a million dollar renovation this winter and its first excursion of the season is scheduled this Saturday.

NWS sending out 3 teams to survey Tuesday storm damage

News, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa) –  The National Weather Service said this (Wednesday) morning, they have three teams currently on the road, to survey Tuesday’s storm damage. The Weather Service says if you encounter a team (or any first responders or recovery and cleanup efforts), please give them space and let the teams do their work.

Damage assessments, tornado ratings and paths take time. The NWS says teams will provide initial in the field assessments, and in some cases additional feedback is sought by damage and structural experts. Then additional information is gathered and digested (photos, videos, satellite data) to help ensure accurate and reliable results.

Officials will post additional information as they are able to so.

At least six tornadoes strike Iowa on Tuesday multiple deaths reported

News, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The Iowa State Patrol says there are multiple deaths and at least a dozen injuries in Greenfield, after Tuesday’s direct hit from a powerful tornado. There’s widespread destruction in the Adair County town, with homes leveled, cars tossed and trees stripped bare. Metro Des Moines National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad Small said today (Wednesday), it’s still unclear just how many tornadoes hit the state Tuesday afternoon.

Those weather service teams will focus on three primary areas of the state where the tornadoes did their worst.

That tornado damaged Johnston High School, which is closed at least for today. Back in southwest Iowa, it appears Greenfield was hit by a large tornado, but Small says they don’t know yet how big it may have been.

More storms are in the immediate forecast, but Small says they don’t appear to be threatening.

This latest round of severe weather follows several bouts with tornadoes during April, which saw 43 tornadoes during the month, the fourth-highest number ever recorded in a single month in Iowa.

Greenfield Tornado damage: The photo’s tell a story of devastation & faith

News, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Ric Hanson

The following photo’s of Tuesday’s tornado affecting the City of Greenfield (IA), are made available to KJAN courtesy of Melissa Ehrman Johnson.

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals Reported at 7:00 am Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

May 22nd, 2024 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  1.52″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  1.43″
  • Massena  1.63″
  • Elk Horn  1.46″