Tornadoes hit Marshalltown, Bondurant, Pella

posted by WHO Radio News - 

Cleanup and assessing the damage is underway after a series of tornadoes struck central Iowa on Thursday afternoon causing significant damage in Marshalltown, as well as damage in Bondurant and in Pella. 

Officials in Marshalltown have declared a state of emergency City Administrator Jessica Kinser says, after a tornado has made a "direct hit" on the city of Marshalltown, Iowa the state's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reports, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Eyewitnesses tell WHO Radio News that the large twister struck the downtown area around 4:30pm with several buildings in the area have been hit, according to reports from the scene, including the city's historic courthouse and the Lennox factory in the area that reportedly took a "direct hit". 

 WHO's Gary Barrett is heading to Marshalltown and will be providing more information shortly. 

"Everyone is advised to stay away from downtown Marshalltown until further notice," she said in a statement. "We also ask that people stay off cell lines unless necessary, to allow for emergency phone traffic."

Many of the 27,000 residents in Marshalltown are currently without power. Alliant Energy reported that nearly 7,000 homes and businesses were without electricity after the storm rolled through the area. 

In Pella, a tornado ripped into at least two buildings of Vermeer Manufacturing, with one eyewitness telling WHO News that debris was littered across an adjacent field for a half mile.  Preliminary reports says there were injuries, but details are unknown.  

In Bondurant, a tornado damaged houses and dropped electric lines, with 2nd Street being closed as authorities work to stop a gas leak. 

The first reports in Marshalltown say the large twister struck the downtown area around 4:30pm and there has been no official word yet on injuries or casualties.   Initial reports say there has been severe damage to the courthouse and adjacent buildings.  WHO's Gary Barrett is heading to Marshalltown and will be providing more information shortly. 

In Pella, a tornado ripped into at least two buildings of Vermeer Manufacturing, with one eyewitness telling WHO News that debris was littered across an adjacent field for a half mile.  Preliminary reports says there were injuries, but details are unknown.  

In Bondurant, a tornado damaged houses and dropped electric lines, with 2nd Street being closed as authorities work to stop a gas leak. 

WHO Radio News

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