Storms Bring Tornadoes, Wind Damage To Northwest Iowa

Storm damage west of Sioux Center (thanks to Sioux County Sheriff’s Office for picture)

Northwest Iowa — Our part of northwest Iowa had at least four confirmed tornados from a storm system in the area Tuesday afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service, the action started in our four northwesternmost Iowa counties with a tornado warning for south central Sioux County at 1:58 p.m. There had been a confirmed tornado at Le mars and it was moving north.

At 2:11 p.m., a tornado was observed by Emergency Management two miles north of Struble, in Sioux County. Three minutes later, the original tornado warning, which was to have ended at 2:30 p.m., was extended until 2:45 due to a storm near Merrill, moving north at 35 miles per hour.

Just a few minutes later, at 2:22 p.m., another tornado warning was issued for south central Sioux County for a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Maurice.

At 2:29 p.m., a brief tornado was spotted two miles north-northwest of Sioux Center that tore the tin from an outbuilding.

Another tornado was reported at 2:37 p.m., and another tornado warning was issued. This tornado was said to be near Sioux Center and moving northeast at 25 miles per hour.

Ten minutes later at 2:48, the weather service said there was a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Doon, moving northeast at 30 miles per hour. Another tornado warning was issued for southeastern Lyon County and north central Sioux County until 3:00.

At 2:58 p.m., the weather service noticed a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near George, moving north at 30 miles per hour. They noted that there were multiple circulations — one northeast of Doon and one northwest of Boyden. They issued a tornado warning for eastern Lyon, western Osceola, and northeastern Sioux counties until 3:30 p.m.

At 2:59 p.m., a thunderstorm wind gust tore roofs off a couple of buildings three miles west-northwest of Matlock.

Two minutes later at 3:01, the wind damaged an outbuilding four miles west-northwest of Matlock, in Lyon County, according to Emergency Management.

The final warning for our part of northwest Iowa was issued at 3:10 p.m. This one was a severe thunderstorm warning for northwestern Lyon County and southern Rock County, Minnesota until 3:45, due to a severe thunderstorm over Lester, moving north at 35 miles per hour.

In addition, Lyon County Emergency Manager Arden Kopishke says there was a building leveled at 2653 Kennedy Avenue, north of the Otter Valley Golf & Country Club. He says Otter Valley lost part of a roof of an outbuilding and a lot of trees. Trees there were uprooted and some broken off. For that matter, Kopishke says trees across Lyon County were damaged.

Sioux County Emergency Management reports similar occurrences, including a large tree and backyard play equipment being toppled and destroyed in Hull.

Sioux County Sheriff Jamie Van Voorst says some cattle gates were damaged in some areas, but no animals were lost or hurt.  He says he’s extremely proud of his team and how they handled the storm as it blew over.

By 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, all tornado warnings had expired, and just a few showers and thundershowers remained in the area.

(With assistance from fellow Community First Broadcasting station KSOU in Sioux Center)

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