Several tornadoes confirmed in Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Seven people inside a Pella manufacturing plant when it was struck by a tornado have been treated for injuries at the local hospital and released.

Pella Regional Health Center spokeswoman Billie Rhamy confirmed Thursday evening injuries were minor and all patients had been discharged.

The factory, which has about 2,800 employees manufacturing industrial and agricultural equipment, was hit by a tornado around 4 p.m.

Vice President of Operations Vince Newendorp says the east half of the company's campus, which includes seven manufacturing buildings, sustained extensive damage.

He says the plant activated its storm warning system and workers were in shelters when the storm hit.

An official says four or five homes are destroyed on the northeast edge of the city of Bondurant.

Fire Chief Aaron Kreuder says several other homes in the city just northeast of Des Moines have significant damage but appear to be repairable.

A collapsed wall in one of the damaged homes ruptured, causing a major gas leak for more than an hour until a hole could be dug in the yard to shut off the line.

Kreuder says a tornado dropped to the ground, rose back up and then dropped again.

He said minor injuries were reported but nothing requiring emergency transportation to the hospital.



DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A spokeswoman says a tornado has damaged a hospital in Marshalltown, Iowa, and patients will be moved to other hospitals.

UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Amy Varcoe, who is based in Des Moines, says it was unclear how severely the UnityPoint hospital in Marshalltown was damaged, but all of its patients are being transferred to the health system's hospitals in Waterloo and Grundy Center.

Varcoe says she doesn't know how many patients are being moved. She also didn't know where people would be treated if they were injured by the tornado that hit Marshalltown.



DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Police say people have been taken to a local hospital after a tornado hit a factory in Pella where some people were working.

Pella Police Lt. Shane Cox told KCCI-TV some people from Vermeer Manufacturing were taken to a hospital, but he didn't know the extent of injuries or the number of people.

He says emergency responders are attempting to get inside the damaged building to see if anyone is trapped inside.

One of the factory's several manufacturing buildings sustained extensive damage with metal strewn across the parking lot and across the street into a cornfield. Vehicles were overturned and piled onto others.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Several buildings are reported damaged by a tornado in the main business district in Marshalltown, including the historic courthouse.

Initial reports to the National Weather Service indicated the historic Marshall County Courthouse's tower was damaged in a Thursday afternoon tornado, and a weather service spotter reported vehicles overturned and numerous trees down.

A woman working at Hammer Medical Supply in the city's downtown says her building has minor damage. She says other nearby buildings including The Orpheum, a theater built in 1948, also are damaged. Another nearby brick building is missing one side leaving the interior living quarters visible to the outside.

Marshalltown is a city of 27,000 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A large factory in the central Iowa city of Pella has sustained damage from a tornado strike.

Vermeer Manufacturing spokeswoman Liz Sporrer confirmed by email the company was hit. She says they were assessing the damage.

The company makes agricultural machinery including hay balers and mowers and equipment for the pipeline and forestry management industries.

Video from KCCI-TV showed damage to the building and cars stacked atop each other in a parking lot.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A storm system moving eastward across central Iowa is generating several tornadoes.

Several funnel clouds developed Thursday from the thunderstorm as it moved north of Des Moines near Bondurant. Additional funnels were reported as the storm moved east of Des Moines past Altoona, Prairie City and Colfax.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Johnson in Des Moines says several tornadoes were confirmed but no serious damage was immediately reported. There were no reports of injuries by midafternoon Thursday.

He says the funnel clouds are weak and smaller in scale.

The weather service is continuing to issue tornado warnings as the storms move eastward.

Additional funnel clouds were reported further north near Iowa Falls.



 
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