A cluster of 27 confirmed tornadoes hit areas north of Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday afternoon, July 19, damaging homes and vehicles in Pella, Marshalltown, and Bondurant. Heavy thunderstorms were moving across the area, but no severe weather was detected ahead of time. The twisters came with heavy rain, damaging winds and hail that caused widespread power outages and a number of injuries, but no deaths have been reported.
In Marshalltown, a tornado hit close to the town center, causing extensive damage to government buildings, businesses, and homes. In Bondurant, several funnel clouds damaged homes, but those who were injured were treated and released.
In Pella, there were no reports of home damage but three of seven of the buildings at Vermeer Manufacturing, celebrating its 70th anniversary this week, were badly damaged. Local authorities credit Vermeer with good evacuation protocols that resulted in only minor injuries to people. The company produces hay balers, mowers, and other agricultural machinery.
On Friday, assessment teams were evaluating the damage to homes and businesses, and early responders were organizing emergency shelter and meals for those most affected by the storms.
“World Renew is reaching out to area churches to see how their community is doing and to extend support if it is needed,” said Bob Laarman, director of World Renew Disaster Response Services. Christian Reformed and Reformed churches in Pella report no damage. “We will continue to monitor the situation as more details of the damage are made clear.”
Photo Credit: Weather.Gov (U.S Government weather service)
Photo description: Barn moved from its foundation and destroyed near Pella