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Iowa tornado damage tallied

Friday's storms damaged more than 100 homes.

BY HEATHER MOYER | FRUITLAND, Iowa | June 3, 2007

Friday's eastern Iowa tornado destroyed 39 homes in Muscatine and Louisa counties.

The Iowa Department of Emergency Management is reporting $2.7 million in infrastructure damage to the towns of Fruitland, Grandview and Muscatine.

Officials reported major damage to 29 homes and minor damage to another 81, with the most damage in Fruitland. The tornado destroyed 29 homes there.

Only minor injuries were reported when the tornado struck. The National Weather Service (NWS) said the tornado first touched down as an EF3 with winds of up to 143 miles per hour in Grandview.

The tornado's path was 16 miles long and then took it through the town of Fruitland, where NWS forecasters say it had EF2 strength. The Fruitland city hall and post office were demolished.

The tornado then struck Muscatine where it damaged more homes and businesses. One car dealership reported at least 15 cars flipped and severely damaged, and another 80 with blown out windows. Several city buildings saw damage as well.

Friday's tornado first touched down shortly after noon local time before tearing off into Louisa and Muscatine counties. NWS forecasters said it was as wide as 1/8 to 1/4 of a mile along some of its path. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver issued an emergency declaration for Jackson, Louisa and Muscatine counties.

Heavy rain also pummeled the region, causing localized flooding and one traffic accident fatality. Many roads remain closed as crews clear debris and downed power lines.


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