PRAIRIEBURG, Iowa – Thunderstorms that spun off tornadoes as they rumbled across Iowa injured at least two people, mowed down crops and damaged homes and farm buildings.
Tornadoes were reported Wednesday in several eastern Iowa counties. Linn County authorities say a woman was injured when the roof of her garage collapsed on her near Prairieburg. She was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Several semitrailers were overturned at Nagel Grain on the south side of torn, and a roof was torn off a Prairieburg home.
Another tornado reported near the Linn County Fair in Central City sent fairgoers to shelters. Trees and tents were damaged but no fairgrounds buildings. No injuries were reported.
A wind gust of 80 mph was reported near Monfort, and golf ball-size hail and heavy rain were reported in the Des Moines area.
Fremont County authorities in western Iowa said a tornado touched down in a rural area between Sidney and Shenandoah, flattening crops.
Dee Ossian, 66, told the Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald that she and her 7- and 12-year-old grandsons were hurrying to shelter in an outdoors root cellar at her home near Shenandoah when swirling winds tugged the boys away from her.
"I've never been so scared in my life," Ossian said. "I was scared for them — they were literally being blown across the yard."
They stayed low to avoid the wind and soon crawled to safety in the cellar, she said.
The younger boy, Sam, suffered a few scrapes, Ossian said. The storm ripped off her home's roof, destroyed two sheds and uprooted some trees. A nearby home sustained similar damage, officials said.