At least seven people, including two children, were killed when tornadoes ripped through central Iowa Saturday evening, according to reports.

Officials say the two children and four adults were killed in Madison County, while one person was killed in Lucas County, KARE11 reported. Four more were injured in Madison County. The deceased have not been identified.


“Several tornadoes touched down throughout the afternoon and evening across central Iowa, leaving a widespread swath of damage from Winterset to Newton,” according to the outlet.

One tornado touched down in Madison County at about 4:30 p.m., and Madison County Emergency Director Diogenes Ayala said it severely damaged between 25-30 homes, the Associated Press reported.

“This is the worst anyone has seen in a very long time,” Ayala said. 

A tornado in the Winterset area of Madison County appears to have caused “at least EF3” damage, meaning it was “severe” and brought winds between 136-165 MPH, according to the National Weather Service.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who delivered the GOP’s response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday, has issued a disaster proclamation for Madison County, allowing for “state resources to be utilized in Madison County to assist with response and recovery efforts.” 

“Our hearts go out to all those affected by the deadly storms that tore through our state today,” Reynolds said.

“Kevin and I join with Iowans in prayer for those that lost their lives and those injured,” she continued. “Our hearts ache during this time, but I know Iowans will step up and come together to help in this time of need—they already are.” 

Resident Wendy Burkett told the Des Moines Register she was inside of her home with two of her three daughters at 4:15 p.m. when she received a call from her husband, who was working in a shed nearby. He alerted them of a tornado warning, and the pair met in the front yard.

“And then we saw it. The tornado,” she told the outlet. “There was debris flying around and it was getting louder and louder.” 

They quickly entered their walkout basement and laid on top of one another for protection from the whipping winds. In a flash the storm passed through, breaking pipes and flushing water into the home. 

“We didn’t have a scratch on us,” Burkett said, though she added the house they have had for 12 years was in tatters, with nearby trees covered with debris. 

“You should have seen it when it was still light,” Burkett told the Register. 


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