Marshalltown, Iowa, home to about 27,000 people, was in the direct path of an intense tornado Thursday afternoon as a severe weather outbreak affected eastern parts of the state. Over a dozen tornado reports have come into NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Iowa alone.
There have been no reports of fatalities but police do report numerous injuries from the tornado that brought widespread damage.
Meteorologist Denice Pelster of one of local news channels, KWWL, tweeted out numerous photos from the town shortly after the tornado roared through Marshalltown, including this road covered and sidelined by damage.
Marshalltown, Iowa pic.twitter.com/nQSOM9HS39
— Denice Pelster (@DenicePelster) July 19, 2018
To illustrate how strong the winds were, pieces of wood acted as projectiles and ended up deeply pierced this car’s bumper.
— Nick Stewart (@NStewCBS2) July 20, 2018
The Unity Point Hospital at Marshalltown posted this following message on their Facebook Page, addressing that they will be evacuating their patients due to the damage to the building: “There are no patient or staff injuries reported within the hospital but the building did sustain structural damage. Therefore, we are evacuating patients to UnityPoint Health – Waterloo and UnityPoint Health – Grundy Center and are unable to take incoming patients. The ER will be open to help triage patients.”
The city of Marshalltown has declared a state of emergency. The town reports its police department is unoccupied due to damage it sustained in addition to a gas leak.
Part of the clocktower at the Marshall County Courthouse was ripped off when the tornado passed by, which the below video shows.
— Trenten (@tfinders34) July 19, 2018
Now while Marshalltown received terrible damage, a different tornado nearby also brought damage of a similar magnitude to Pella, Iowa.
At the Vermeer Corporation, a facility that manufactures farm and construction equipment, likely took a direct hit from the tornado. Several injuries have been reported and some workers were transported to the hospital.
— Monte (@thefullmonte) July 20, 2018
The parking lot at the facility now looks like a car dump as the wind from the twister piled the vehicles on top of each other.
Here is a look at the pile of vehicles in the Vermeer parking lot in Pella. There are reports of multiple injuries at the plant. pic.twitter.com/ODtjSyPqIb
— WHO-HD Ch. 13 News (@WHOhd) July 19, 2018
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds tweeted: “Devastated to see the destruction from today’s severe storms & tornadoes. Praying for all Iowans impacted & for the emergency management crews responding tonight.”
Featured image credit: Nick Stewart