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Old 04-10-2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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Tornado flattens part of Iowa town Mapleton

The mayor of Mapleton, in the western part of the state, estimates that a fifth of the town is 'almost flat' after Saturday's twister. Several people are injured.

amy Garden's house began to rumble with the approach of a tornado. Then the windows shattered, spraying her with glass. Using her cellphone as a flashlight, she fled to the basement.

She returned home Sunday, wandering her backyard in a blood-splattered sweatshirt, her right hand and left knee bandaged. Around her lay a tangle of tree branches, twisted siding, broken glass and a canoe that wasn't hers.

The tornado Saturday damaged more than half of Mapleton, a town of 1,200 people in western Iowa, Mayor Fred Standa said Sunday. He estimated that about 20% of the town was "almost flat."

The huge, centuries-old trees that gave the town its name had been pulled out of the ground and tossed on top of houses and cars, Standa said. In one case, a huge motor home had been flipped on its side.

"It's not a pretty sight," Standa said. "It's something nobody has seen in this town."

Garden's house was intact, but everything inside was tossed around. Her two dogs were safe, but she hadn't found her cat.

The tornado destroyed 12 to 15 blocks when it struck about 7:20 p.m., Monona County Sheriff Jeff Pratt said. About 100 homes were destroyed and 500 to 600 residents displaced, he said.

The tornado was on the ground for 3 1/2 miles and measured three-quarters of a mile wide at one point, said the National Weather Service in Valley, Neb. It carried wind speeds of 165 mph.

The tornado was one of several reported in Iowa. The weather service said it had confirmed four smaller twisters that touched down near the towns of Early and Nemaha, damaging several homes.

In Mapleton, the roof was blown off a high school, power lines were downed, and homes and buildings were destroyed. Pratt said two people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. The weather service said it had reports of 14 to 16 injuries, the most severe a broken leg.

Tamara Adams, 37, piled branches on the curb next to a 30-foot tree that rested on her house. She said she had closed her basement door just as the tornado tore the roof off a store across from her house.

"That sound, I'll never get it out of my head," she said. "It had a life. You could hear it breathing and growling."

Iowa tornado flattens part of town - latimes.com
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:57 AM   #2
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My wife's Mother was born in Mapleton. Her uncle's house was hit by a tree as he hid in the basement. Everyone we know is safe. I am traveling but my wife says the photos are striking, all the large trees blown down.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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Arkansas just had a ripper come through here killed about 9 people..
Always sad...
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