Official: 6 killed when tornado sweeps through downtown Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa – Six people were killed Saturday when a tornado swept through downtown Iowa, damaging buildings and knocking down trees and power lines, authorities said.

Emergency workers in Madison County said four were injured in addition to those killed when the tornado arrived in the area southwest of Des Moines around 4:30 p.m. Among the dead were children and adults.

Madison County Emergency Situations Director Diogenes Ayala said 25 to 30 homes were badly damaged by the tornado.

“It’s the worst thing anyone has seen in a very long time,” he said.

Officials did not identify the dead, but said they were not all in the same place.

Wendy Burkett told the Des Moines Registry that she and two of her three daughters were at their home Saturday afternoon when her husband Tony called her from a nearby barn where he worked and warned her of a tornado warning.

Burkett said she went outside and joined him in front of the house, looking down their porch to the southwest. “And then we saw it. A tornado, ”she said. “Fragments were flying around, and it was getting louder and louder.”

They were hurrying with their daughters to their basement when the tornado thundered for a few seconds. As they held on to each other, the window popped out and water began to erupt from the pipes, she said.

But about a minute later the tornado passed by, and until the family was hit, their home was in ruins among the rubble around, even in the trees.

Later Saturday, the Des Moines National Weather Service tweeted that initial photos and videos of damage around the Winterset community suggest it was at least an EF-3 tornado capable of causing serious damage on an Enhanced scale. Fujita. It is noted that the weather services on Sunday will investigate the damage and further assess the potential rating.

Thunderstorms that spawned tornadoes raged through most of Iowa from day to Saturday night, with storms also damaging the Des Moines suburb of Norwalk, areas east of Des Moines and other areas of eastern Iowa.

Officials say a number of homes have been damaged, roads have been blocked by broken lines, and tree branches have been shredded by strong winds. The photos posted on social networks show fallen trees, garbage, damaged roofs and vehicles. At some point in the power outage affected about 10,000 people in the Des Moines area.

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