Published: Fri, July 20, 2018

Two tornadoes form in IA; steeple ripped off building in separate twister

Two tornadoes form in IA; steeple ripped off building in separate twister

A worker cleans up debris from the tornado damaged Marshall County Courthouse's tower. The amount of building damage is unknown.

Pictures from the damaged areas show trees crashed down on to roads and roof tiles ripped away from homes.

Injuries have been reported in Pella, Iowa, after a tornado hit a factory where people were still working, the Associated Press reported.

"We went through a tornado and survived, " Moz said.

Authorities said a hospital was evacuated and there were some injuries from the storms.

A spokeswoman says a tornado has damaged a hospital in Marshalltown, Iowa, and 40 patients will be moved to other hospitals.

Marshalltown resident Stephanie Moz said she, her husband and 2-month-old baby were in the downtown clothing store she owns when tornado sirens went off.

Pella's Vermeer plant was among the structures damaged in that community.

Tornado damage in the downtown area of Marshalltown

Marshalltown officials declared a state of emergency, and a curfew was put in place to keep people inside, even after the storm passed through with live power lines and gas mains posing a significant threat to residents.

The city had activated its tornado siren and most staff were in underground shelters when the storm hit, but huge sheets of metal were left scattered through a auto park, ripping a hole in the side of a building, overturning cars and piling them onto others.

A number of tornadoes formed suddenly Thursday over Iowa, taking weather forecasters by surprise. It was not clear how severely the building was damaged.

Alex Krull, a meteorologist with the service in Des Moines, said Thursday afternoon that forecasting models produced in the morning showed only a slight chance of strong thunderstorms later in the day.

Another tornado hit agricultural machinery maker Vermeer Manufacturing, where some people were still working, in the town of Pella, about 64kms southeast of Des Moines.

"This morning, it didn't look like tornadic supercells were possible", Krull said.

A tornado touched down in central Iowa on July 19 leading to "catastrophic damages".

As the tornado left Marshalltown past Altoona, Prairie City and Colfax, funnel clouds have been reported across Iowa. "If anything, we were expecting we could get some large hail, if strong storms developed".

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