Tornado strikes Iowa

A tornado struck the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sunday night.

BY SUSAN KIM | CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa | July 21, 2003



"I would like to encourage local churches to locate people with special needs and help them register with the county."

—Ned Wright


A tornado struck the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sunday night, causing major damage to at least 10 homes and spewing debris over a widespread area.

The northwest side of the city bore the brunt of the storm.

A high percentage of the 125,000 people who live in Cedar Rapids are considered individuals with "special needs, either because they are elderly or disabled," said Ned Wright, director of Linn County emergency management. "We have many, many elderly people who will need help with debris removal," he said.

The county department of emergency management has a registration program for people with special needs. Currently there are 1,200 people who have registered, said Wright, but there are many, many more individuals with special needs in the county who haven't come forward.

Registering is especially important because of a nuclear power plant located in Cedar Rapids, he added.

The plant sustained no reported damage from the storm.

"I would like to encourage local churches to locate people with special needs and help them register with the county," said Wright. "It means nobody would get left behind during an evacuation for whatever reason."

Iowa is second to Florida as the state with the most elderly residents.

The Salvation Army was on the scene offering immediate assistance with cleanup Monday.

The Asbury United Methodist Church reported it had at least $300 in damage to its parsonage. "We may have to replace the roof," said the Rev. Ed Powes.

There were at least 2,000 power lines down and about 100 poles were toppled, estimated Alliant Energy.

In addition to wind damage, heavy rain caused street flooding.

The storm downed trees and power lines across Iowa Sunday night. No injuries were reported.

In western Iowa, Woodbury County also reported a five-mile swath of damage that was two miles wide in some areas, according to Woodbury County emergency management. There were unconfirmed reports of baseball-size hail as well.

Wind damage was also reported in Michigan, where some areas received up to 2 inches of rain.

Central and northern Illinois also reported minor damage.


Related Topics:

Wicked weather hits NE Texas

Tornado hits Michigan town

Tornadoes tear through Illinois and Midwest


More links on Tornadoes

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: