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Separate Tornadoes Cause Damage In Traer, Urbana

Photo By: Daniel Loretto - ThinkStock
Photo By: Daniel Loretto – ThinkStock
An intense storm system that rolled across Iowa spawned separate tornadoes that struck the towns of Traer and Urbana. The twisters were among four that touched down in the state on Monday (June 30, 2014).

On Tuesday, survey teams from the National Weather Service (NWS) fanned out across the state to assess the damage in areas hardest hit by the storms. They determined the Traer tornado was the strongest of the four, packing winds of 120 miles per hour.

According to NWS, Monday’s tornado formed 3.2 miles northwest of Traer and tracked southeastward across Tama County. The low-end EF2 twister hit a house on the south side of Traer, where it weakened quickly and dissipated as it moved into the southeast side of town.

NWS officials say the tornado was 150 yards wide and traveled for four miles, ending a half-mile southeast of the community.The twister touched down around 2 p.m and was on the ground for 10 minutes.

Monday’s storm destroyed or damaged trees and downed power lines throughout Traer, but the city’s southwest quarter was hardest hit. Many homes and businesses in that part of town suffered at least minor damage and large trees were either toppled or snapped off.

Utility crews spent the day Tuesday working to restore electricity to Traer.

Further east, in Benton County, the tornado that hit Urbana was rated an EF1 with winds peaking at 110 miles per hour. NWS says the twister touched down two miles west-northwest of town, traveled .5 miles through Urbana, and ended 1.5 miles west of the community. The tornado formed around 2:27 p.m. and was on the ground less than a minute.

The National Weather Service says the other tornadoes that hit the state on Monday touched down in south-central Iowa. Both were rated EF1s, with peak winds of 100 miles per hour.

One of the twisters destroyed or heavily damaged a house and several outbuildings between Casey and Stuart in Adair County, west of Des Moines. The other tornado damaged a house and several trees when it briefly touched down in Madison County, northeast of Winterset.

No injuries or deaths were reported from Monday’s tornadoes, but Linn County officials say a man was killed in Fairfax when straight-line winds destroyed a building.

In Waterloo and Cedar Falls, the storm dumped heavy rain that caused street flooding and scattered power outages. Winds gusts of 58 miles-per-hour were reported in Waterloo.

Monday’s storm brought an end to a wet 30-day period for the Cedar Valley and state of Iowa. NWS says 9.53 inches of rain fell during the month in Waterloo, making it the third-wettest June on record for the city. The state-wide average was 9.61 inches, which also ranks as the third-highest amount for the month of June.

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