Iowa cities in shock after tornado kills at least 7 people and damages about 50 homes

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Some people in Winterset, Iowa, are trying to save what is left of their homes and lives after a tornado ripped through Saturday afternoon. At least seven people died, including two children under the age of five.

Hundreds of volunteers helped pick up rubble and distribute food and water to the victims on Sunday. Cleanup efforts were halted Monday after a winter storm left 3 to 4 inches of snow on the ground.

The people whose homes were damaged say it is nothing compared to the loss of life.

17-year-old Josie Beeson lived in her house for over eight years before it collapsed in seconds.

“My house was hit by the tornado. We have a lot of good friends and family helping us out here today,” Beeson told Fox News Digital.

A tornado with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour swept through the community.

“I had just come through the basement door when it hit the house. Unfortunately, I lost my dog ​​to the tornado,” Beeson said.

Madison County Emergency Management Director Diogenes Ayala told Fox News Digital that it was one of the worst tornadoes he’d seen in the city.

Betty Hope of Winterset, Iowa, delivered Matilda, her 15-year-old long-haired tabby cat, on Sunday, April 6th.
Bryon Houlgrave

“Losing someone is devastating, but especially children. It’s something that many of these responders have had to go and recover that will not be forgotten,” Ayala said.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds inspected the damage Sunday and issued a disaster declaration for Madison County. She got emotional after hundreds volunteered and helped clean up the damage.

“We are Iowans and we do. We show up. We take care of the family. We care about our neighbors and we care about our community,” Reynolds said.

Over 50 houses were damaged; one of them belonged to Pete Sullivan.

Cleanup efforts are underway in Winterset, Iowa on Sunday, March 6, 2022 after a tornado tore through an area southwest of the city on Saturday.
Cleanup efforts are underway in Winterset, Iowa on Sunday, March 6, 2022 after a tornado tore through an area southwest of the city on Saturday.
Bryon Houlgrave

“I was coming through the kitchen and a tree fell on the house, and we made it downstairs just in time,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and his wife just bought the Winterset home in August. The trees surrounding their home were one of the big factors that drew them to the area, but now he says it looks like a war zone.

“It’s awful. The deaths are awful. Anything can be replaced or repaired, except for life,” Sullivan said. “Tornadoes are powerful. It’s amazing what they can do in just 30 seconds.”

Cleanup efforts are underway in Winterset, Iowa on Sunday, March 6, 2022 after a tornado tore through an area southwest of the city on Saturday.
Cleanup efforts are underway in Winterset, Iowa on Sunday, March 6, 2022 after a tornado tore through an area southwest of the city on Saturday.
Bryon Houlgrave

Ayala said several warnings and sirens went off before the tornado hit. He said his agency did its best to ensure everyone was aware of the need to seek shelter.

Community members say they can use any volunteers who can devote their time to the recovery effort, and the local chamber of commerce is accepting donations to help survivors.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds updates the media after touring badly damaged portions of Winterset, Iowa on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds updates the media after touring badly damaged portions of Winterset, Iowa on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
Bryon Houlgrave



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