Joe Winters Blog: A Tragic Sunday III


By Joe Winters

Photo from Storm Chasers as the tornado passes by Parkersburg.As the coverage continued we started to see the damage reports coming, in along with tornado sightings. We started hearing of a tornado in Butler County that was large in size.  Estimates we had in the weather lab ranged from ½ to 1 mile wide. Slowly the damage reports started coming in as well. First it was some homes damaged and quite rapidly after that we started hearing how bad it was in Parkersburg.

During this time we stayed on the air with the storm as it continued to move to the east. The storm was moving from 35 to 45 mph. This storm was so text book as it held its strength and classic shape all the way across the state. We continued to follow this tornado producing storm through Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware and Dubuque counties. Throughout we were constantly being updated with information related to the storm.  It seems to me that when you have official confirmation that a tornado has hit, everyone takes it a bit more seriously.

Finally at 10:00pm we left continuous coverage as the tornado producing storm moved out of our viewing area and the coverage changed from a weather event to a news event. We have not stopped covering it and will cover it for days, weeks and years to come.

I have been on the air for other confirmed tornadoes and for several tornadoes that have caused damage and destruction, but in the 18 years that I have been at KCRG, this is by far the most devastating and wide spread damage that I have ever seen. It is the type of storm that occurs in the Plains. You just don’t see this storm in Iowa. Certainly we have seen them before, but this is not something that you ever expect to happen.

As we move through the coming days the people affect by the storm will persevere and rebound. After all that is what Iowans do when a tragic situation hits. Friends, neighbors and complete strangers come together to help. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the folks that have suffered greatly.


Weather or not, I'm Meteorologist Joe Winters

Send your Questions and Comments to Joe at



Click Here for More Video

Past Coverage

Pulpit rock

Click Here for Past News Coverage

Photo Gallery

Click Here for Photo Gallery

The Victims

Click Here for The Victims



Click Here for Interactive Timeline

Interactive Map

Interactive Map

Click Here for Interactive Map