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The National Weather Service has been out all day Saturday surveying tornadoes from Friday's storms in Iowa and Illinois. The latest is that a tornado that tracked from Ottumwa into Johnson County in Iowa has been rated as a violet EF-4 tornado. This is the strongest tornado to have occurred in eastern Iowa since the EF-5 in Parkersburg.

The NWS says the wind speeds are estimated at 170 mph with a max width of 600 yards. The EF-4 damage occurred at a farm near Keota in Keokuk County. A house was taken off the foundation in the area. While this tornado was on the ground there was a report of twin tornadoes... it's possible two or three tornadoes were on the ground simultaneously in the area:

There still needs to be a determination if the tornado was constantly on the ground, but EF-3 damage was observed in Hedrick and Hills with EF-2 damage in Solon and Coralville.

The updrafts were so strong with this storm that it carried items from Hedrick in southern Keokuk county into areas like Swisher, Cedar Rapids, and even Alburnett, nearly 100 miles away!

Additionally, there was an EF-2 tornado from Grand Mound to Charlotte, an EF-1 near Bellevue and an EF-2 near Bennett. There are additional locations in Iowa and Illinois the NWS still needs to survey.. it will take weeks as they examine the damage and satellite imagery.

Thankfully, despite the damage and tornadoes hitting multiple towns, there were no fatalities in my immediate area. There were a handful of minor injuries. There are some people who lost their lives in Illinois and Arkansas with the storms on Friday unfortunately.

Additionally, we have more storms to talk about. The Storm Prediction Center is already monitoring the region for another potential severe weather outbreak on Tuesday:

It's still too soon to get into exact timing, but all modes of severe weather will be possible - meaning another threat for tornadoes in a region that will still be picking up the pieces on Tuesday. We'll continue to update you as the picture becomes more clear.

Rebecca Kopelman


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