MN Red Cross Assists Victims of Iowa Tornado 05 Oct 13

Southern Minnesota American Red Cross volunteers are driving Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) to Sioux City, IA after tornadoes damaged homes and communities in the area. The ERVs, one from Rochester and one from Mankato, are used for mobile feeding, bringing hot meals out to the people who are affected.

Damage assessment reports are very preliminary at this point, but we do know that a significant tornado, reported to be a mile wide and powerful, has cut a path through NE Nebraska, NW Iowa, and SE South Dakota. There are reports of damage in multiple counties affecting many rural areas in Iowa. So far it appears that no large population centers were hit, but there are certainly damaged or destroyed homes.

The Red Cross has supplies and equipment on standby to assist the affected areas as their needs become better known.

Tornadoes were spotted in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota Friday evening, with reports of injuries and considerable property damage.

According to the National Weather Service, storms packing powerful winds destroyed homes in the northeast Nebraska town of Wayne, where witnesses said a tornado appeared to be 2 miles wide. The weather service said witnesses also reported at least two tornadoes near Sioux City, Iowa, causing some damage in Jefferson, S.D., and Moville, Iowa.

At least 15 people were being treated for injuries in Wayne after a reported tornado struck the northeast Nebraska town. Mayor Ken Chamberlain said all of the residents in town were accounted for, and none of the injuries was considered life-threatening.

Witnesses reported that the tornado destroyed at least four homes and the city’s softball complex. Several businesses were damaged.