Stunned IA surveys damage

Two small northwestern Iowa towns were surveying severe tornado damage Sunday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | May 23, 2004


Two small northwestern Iowa towns - Bradgate and Rolfe - were surveying severe damage Sunday after Friday's tornado ripped many homes completely apart.

In Bradgate, 30 of the town's 40 homes were uninhabitable, said Humboldt County Emergency Management Director Doug Wood in a report.

The twister was unleashed from storms that moved across the Midwest Friday night.

Fifteen people were injured. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack toured the damaged areas over the weekend.

Bradgate (Humboldt County) is home to 124 people while Rolfe (Pocahontas County) has a population of 721.

The American Red Cross was helping to meet emergency needs, while several national faith-based disaster response groups were making contact with local clergy to assess long-term needs.

Crews from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Iowa National Guard were also helping with cleanup.

Heavy rain, lightning, high winds and hail caused scattered damage across the Midwest, but the two Iowa towns appeared to sustain the worst of the damage.

Most of the injuries in Iowa were not life-threatening.

Vehicle accidents blamed on the weather caused one death in Ohio and three deaths in Michigan. Thousands of people in several states were still without power Sunday.

Destructive straight-line winds also hit parts of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In West Virginia, at least 17 homes were damaged from toppling trees and utility poles.


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