Weather Service: Wayland Tornado Was 1/4 Mile Wide, Produced 130MPH Winds

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

The roof of the house at 3229 Spruce Avenue in rural Washington County was blown off by a tornado on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Photo taken Friday, May 4, 2012. (Matt Nelson/The Gazette - KCRG-TV9)

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By Lauren Peikoff

Wayland, Iowa
41.147243 -91.660721

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WAYLAND, Iowa - During a storm survey Friday morning, the National Weather Service confirmed that storm damage in Henry & Washington Counties was caused by a tornado.

The National Weather Service says the quarter-mile wide tornado touched down one mile south of Wayland. The tornado, producing winds of 130 MPH, was on the ground for more than four miles before lifting southwest of Crawfordsville. The tornado was rated an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale used to rank the strength of tornadoes based on the damage they produce.

Wayland Police Chief Ron Roth said he saw a tornado at about 9 p.m. Thursday bearing down on the area. “Damage to the surrounding areas (of Wayland) is moderate to heavy,” Roth said. “But (downtown) Wayland seems alright.” Roth said he only saw the tornado for about two seconds during a large lightning strike. No injuries have been reported.

More than a dozen volunteer firefighters from both Henry and Washington County gathered at the Wayland fire department where they took damage reports.

A farm building holding turkeys just east of Wayland sustained major damage as a result of the storm. An estimated 100 volunteers are working through the night to help save more than 1,000 turkeys from what is left of the building.

Power lines, trees and other debris is spread out in a path, which runs southwest of the farm building. Several homes sustained damage in the same path. Henry County Emergency Manager Walt Jackson said he as only heard light to moderate damage outside of Wayland. “There’s some tin off barns and some houses that have been damaged,” Jackson said.
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