Tornadoes tear through central Iowa

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first_img “It’s pretty bad,” he said. “There’s houses destroyed and roofs off of houses.” John Kiley and his wife were watching television at their home in rural Woodward when they heard the warning. “I saw it two, three minutes before it hit,” Kiley said. “My wife said, go to the basement. I said no. We got in the car and went down the road. I looked out; it hit our house.” His house, barn, garage and another building were severely damaged. Many of his sheep were injured by the storm, neighbor Doug Jimeson said. “There were sheep everywhere,” Jimeson said. “Some of them have broken legs.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WOODWARD, Iowa – Tornadoes swept across central Iowa on Saturday, damaging homes in several towns, ripping up farms and chasing college football fans from an open stadium and into a nearby basketball arena for shelter. No injuries were immediately reported, but authorities Saturday evening were evacuating Stratford, a town of about 746 residents 23 miles northwest of Ames. “They’re evacuating the whole town,” said Officer Luke Field of the Ellsworth-Jewell-Stanhope Police Department. “Part of it was damaged by a tornado – a good portion of it.” National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Cogil said it appeared that at least three tornadoes touched down. In Ames, football fans awaiting the start of the Iowa State Cyclones’ game against the University of Colorado were cleared from the stands and moved into Hilton Coliseum as the tornado sirens sounded. Ames Police dispatcher Pam Litchfield said there were reports of a building blown apart in the city, but it wasn’t clear if it was a home. A Boone County dispatcher confirmed that at least two tornadoes hit there, with major damage in the Boxholm and Pilot Mound areas, a few miles south of Stratford. A convenience store in Woodward, 30 miles south of Stratford, was also damaged by the storm. Richard Albracht, 59, had headed for his basement in Woodward when he saw shingles start to fly and heard the sirens. He said he went outside after the storm passed and found several homes damaged and an empty restaurant with only one wall left standing. last_img

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