Severe Storm Spawns Tornadoes, Causes Major Damage and Flash Flooding

Severe weather caused flash flooding, wind damage, and even spawned tornadoes early Tuesday morning in central Iowa.

Several reports of tornadoes on the ground were submitted by trained storm spotters. The first was around 5:18 a.m. near Badger Creek State Park, which is southeast of Van Meter. More reports came in shortly after 6:00 a.m. about tornadoes spotted around Lacona, Milo, and Melcher-Dallas. The Warren County Emergency Manager confirmed the tornado and said there was structure damage to outbuildings and power lines down northwest of Lacona.

The National Weather Service has not yet released how strong the tornadoes were.

There was widespread street flooding in the Des Moines metro as the storm dropped a significant amount of rain that sewers could not keep up with. Ponding water on the roadways also caused slowdowns on the interstates and highways.

Heavy Rain Reports:

Eagle Grove (Wright County) 4.5″
Iowa Falls 3.68″
Carroll 3.45″
Adel 2.55″
Des Moines 2.35″
Traer 2.32″

Downed trees and power lines also left more than 20,000 MidAmerican Energy customers without power at the storm’s peak. As of 9:38 a.m., there were about 7,400 customers without electricity.

Lightning strikes are also believed to have caused multiple fires during the storm. One was reported at an apartment building at 3831 Ingersoll. It caused a small fire in the kitchen of one of the units and the Des Moines Fire Department says it was easily extinguished. No one was injured.

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