Three Possible Tornadoes Reported in Eastern Iowa
By Mark Carlson and Jillian Petrus, Reporter
IOWA COUNTY, Iowa - A round of severe weather produced strong winds, large hail and three possible tornadoes in Eastern Iowa on Sunday.
Storms moved into the area at about 2 p.m. and quickly turned severe. Large hail was reported in Iowa, Johnson, Benton and Cedar Counties. Possible tornadoes and funnel clouds were also spotted in Iowa, Johnson, Black Hawk and Bremer Counties.
Maren Stoflet in the weather service's Quad Cities office says there were reports of tornadoes briefly touching down near Ladora, Parnell and North Liberty on Sunday afternoon. They have yet to be confirmed.
Dave Wilson in the Johnson County sheriff's office says several funnels clouds were spotted near North Liberty but it didn't appear that a tornado actually touched down. He says there were no injuries and no signs of damage.
Additional damage has been reported in Howard County from a possible tornado.
IOWA COUNTY, Iowa — Bill Gregor walks through what used to be his front yard surveying the damage of a tornado that nearly took his home and his life.
“Wife just came down in the basement woke me up and said get in the closet!” He says it felt like the tornado hit in a matter of seconds. The storm uprooted trees in Gregor’s yard, tore off part of his roof and scattered pieces of his home along G Avenue between Marengo and Ladora. The homeowner says he’s never experienced severe weather like the storm that ripped through Iowa County on Sunday afternoon.
The National weather service says at least three tornadoes touched down near Ladora, Parnell and then North Liberty. The tornadoes weren’t on the ground long, but it was long enough to do serious damage.
While, he didn’t actually see the tornado, Gregor says the sound alone was terrifying, like a train rolling through his yard. “You could hear glass crashing, stuff breaking, crunching, cracking,” Gregor said.
Several other unlucky homes fell in the tornado’s path with visible damage through parts of Iowa County. Crews worked quickly to fix downed power lines and remove a truck tossed into a ditch along a county road.
Jacob Roberts of Marengo captured the twister in a cellphone video. “It was dropping down coming back up,” Roberts said. “You look to the east, it was just black very dark, but then to the west it was all sunny.”
Within an hour of the tornado, Gregor says emergency crews, friends and strangers stopped to help clean up the devastation left behind by the storm. “There were people pulling up left and right asking what can I do how can I help.”
For now, Gregor says he’s trying to keep the damage in perspective. He says all that matters is both he and his wife are safe … the rest he says can be replaced.
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