UPDATE: NWS confirms Vinton damage caused by an EF-2 tornado

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VINTON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- It was an EF-2.

Sunday's early morning storm ripped the roof off this apartment complex in Vinton, Iowa.

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday afternoon a tornado did in fact touch down in Vinton, early Sunday morning.

NWS officials made that determination after surveying the storm's damage to the southeast part of town.

There, surveyors reported winds were up to 135 miles per hour. They said the twister's path was about 100 yards wide. It was on the ground for little over a mile and a half.

Long enough to cause substantial destruction, however. Winds were so strong roofs were pulled off buildings. A cell tower was toppled, crippling phone use for many. Gusts even threw pieces of wood through walls and cars.

"I was going to move in two weeks," said Joe Radcliffe, whose apartment was destroyed by the storm.

Radcliffe was in a second-floor apartment near the fairgrounds when winds began to howl. He said he's lucky to be alive and unharmed.

"I looked out the window at five until 5 a.m.,” said Radcliffe. “Two minutes later everything came through my window and the roof came down on me."

Joe's home was one of at least four apartment complexes severely damaged by the dangerous weather system. Those residences have been evacuated. More than 40 people were displaced, unable to return until perhaps Monday.

"Right now, I'm waiting to find out what they're going to do with us,” said Radcliffe. “I don't really have a place to go.

The American Red Cross has setup at the Vinton High School. There, volunteers are providing food and shelter. They estimate at least 55 in town will need some type of help.

In other spots, people got lucky. Doug Martens’ home was spared from a large tree that fell in the front yard.

"Debris blew in a basement window,” said Martens. “We've had some other windows broken. A lot of siding damage. Nothing like the rest of the town has gotten over here."

The fairground, busy hosting the Benton County Fair, was also spared any major damage.

Vinton Police said, though the town was under a severe thunderstorm warning, sirens didn't sound. Officials said the storm was only expected to have wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. Sires sound with gusts of 70 or above.