Tornado Damages Apartment Building in Northeast Iowa

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OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — Severe storms damaged an apartment building in northeast Iowa Saturday night and knocked down power lines in the area.

A tornado that was spotted in Oelwein, Iowa, tore off part of the wall of a 12-unit apartment building and damaged the siding of a second building in the complex. Oelwein police said no serious injuries were reported.

Lonnie Robbins said he watched the storm moving in before retreating to the bathroom of his ground floor apartment in the complex.

“I heard something go whoosh, and I even felt it,” Robbins told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “It ripped the hallway wall off, smacked that into my apartment, and when it did that, it knocked a hole in my apartment.”

Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher said the storm knocked down branches and some power lines elsewhere in Oelwein and in rural parts of the county.

Residents of the apartment complex whose homes were damaged sought shelter in a nearby hotel. Resident Jonathan Reinert said the storm damage leaves him without a place to stay during the coronavirus outbreak. Emergency crews wore surgical masks as they responded to the storm damage because of the virus.

“I got no shelter in place now,” Reinert said.

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