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Eastern Iowa has a long storied history of destructive tornadoes. They usually happen in the spring. But there is one exceptional storm that stands out. As I point out in my special report, this violent tornado that stomped through tiny Ryan, Iowa not only broke the mold…but has never been duplicated.

On the subject of tornadoes, Thursday, May 25th was the 9th anniversary of the Parkersburg, Iowa EF5 tornado, one of the strongest to ever strike the state of Iowa. With 205 mph winds it scorched a 3/4 mile path across the southern half of the city killing 9 and injuring 75 others. Click on the image below for a recap from the NWS in Des Moines.

Having been in the city shortly after the storm I can tell you it was the most eye opening experience of my life. I came into town from the north with the main highway blocked. Eventually I reached the crest of a hill that blocked my view of the southern half of town. I knew when I reached the top what I would see on the other side would be bad. But until you witness the scope of the devastation with your own eyes you can never grasp it.

Coming over that hill was a moment that will always be etched in my mind. This is no exaggeration, I was literally overwhelmed. I didn't know where to look. For as far as I could see there was nothing left. It was sensory overload. Foundations were all that remained of many homes. The contents were scattered everywhere. All the trees were gone, most stripped of their bark. Who knows what happened to the birds, they were long gone. Mangled cars were rolled into balls, some inside what was left of homes. You never forget the look on the faces of people who have lost everything. The power unleashed is a weight and it's far more than you can comprehend. God really does work in mysterious ways. Roll weather...TS

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