Tornado Causes Damage in Muscatine, Thousands Lose Power

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Severe weather Monday afternoon prompted several tornado warnings and knocked out power to thousands of people across Eastern Iowa.

Storms developed just after 1 p.m. Monday. Johnson County Emergency Management reported a tornado had been spotted south of the community of Solon at about 2:50 p.m., only minor damage has been reported. There were several other reports of tornadoes near Mechanicsville, Standwood and Clarence - however, those reports have not been confirmed.

In Muscatine, a tornado caused damage to several structures and vehicles. The National Weather Service says a spotter reported a tornado on the ground around 3:30 p.m. Monday on the north side of the city near Highway 61. A survey team will inspect the region Tuesday to determine if the damage was caused by the reported tornado.

The severe weather hit a body shop attached to a car dealership, as well as a Calvary church and Menard's home improvement store. Reported damage includes overturned semi-trailers and buildings with roofs blown off. One person was injured. There are no reports of fatalities.

Alliant Energy said that more than 3,500 customers lost power as the storms moved through Eastern Iowa. Alliant said crews are out assessing the damage and working to restore power.

MidAmerican Energy reports that customers in the Coralville area also lost power during the severe weather. MidAmerican said it hoped to have all services restored in 24-36 hours.

Governor Terry Branstad's office announced that the governor will visit Muscatine on Tuesday morning to survey storm damage. Gov. Branstad will also visit Waukon, which dealt with flash flooding over the weekend.

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