EF-1 Tornado hits Wapello County


A survey team from the National Weather Service in Des Moines and Davenport have determined an EF-1 tornado occurred in Wapello County Sunday afternoon during a bout of severe weather.

The tornado with 108 mph winds began at 3:20 p.m. Sunday afternoon 3.4 miles east of Highland Center or about 7.5 miles east of the Ottumwa Regional Airport.  The tornado ended in Wapello County at 3:24 p.m. about 4.7 miles northeast of Highland center or about 9.75 miles northeast of the Ottumwa airport.  The storm continued into Keokuk County.

Survey teams  determined that a tornado did develop in far Northern Wapello County.  This long track tornado started east of the Highland Center and traveled very quickly.  The circulation was initially very broad and began to tighten as it progressed to the northeast.  Initial damage included a destroyed chicken barn and two snapped power poles.  About two miles northeast of the initial damage……….large utility poles were found leaning and this is where the highest estimated wind speeds of 108 mph were determined.

The tornado produced little additional damage before existing Wapello County and continuing for an additional 44 miles.

The survey team from the Quad Cities National Weather Service says the tornado continued to track from south of Hedrick inKeokuk County to 4 miles west southwest of Cosgrove, Iowa. The tornado then continued into Iowa and Johnson counties.  The tornado resulted in one fatality in Kinross in Keokuk County.

The survey team says a near continuous damage path was found with damage primarily to trees and outbuildings.

One person was seriously injured in Martinsburg in Keokuk County after the barn he was in collapsed due to the storm. A considerable amount of damage occurred in Martinsburg.

At the time of the tornado in Wapello County………the area was under a severe thunderstorm watch.