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Greenfield, Iowa, Rocked by Deadly EF-3 Tornado Amidst Severe Weather Outbreak

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Tornado Leaves Trail of Destruction in Greenfield, Iowa

The small town of Greenfield, Iowa, was left reeling after a powerful tornado tore through the area on Tuesday, leaving four people dead and at least 35 injured. The twister, part of a more significant severe weather outbreak affecting six states, caused widespread damage and devastation throughout Adair County.

5 Key Points

  • A powerful EF-3 tornado struck Greenfield, Iowa, killing four people and injuring at least 35.
  • The tornado was part of a severe weather outbreak that affected six states, with Iowa being hit the hardest.
  • The Adair County Memorial Hospital was damaged and evacuated, remaining closed for weeks or months.
  • Community members quickly rallied to help those in need, providing medical attention and clearing debris.
  • More severe weather is expected in the coming days, with the highest threat in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

State police announced the tragic toll 24 hours after the tornado struck, while officials worked to assess the full extent of the damage. The names and ages of those killed have not been released at this time.

The National Weather Service preliminarily confirmed the Greenfield tornado as an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with maximum wind speeds reaching a staggering 135 mph. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who surveyed the damage, described the scene as “gut-wrenching” and “horrific.”

Hospital Damaged and Evacuated

The Adair County Memorial Hospital, which serves Greenfield, was among the buildings damaged by the tornado. Despite the damage, hospital staff treated patients and transported some to nearby facilities for further care. However, the extent of the damage required the evacuation of staff and patients, and the hospital is expected to remain closed for weeks if not months, while repairs are made.

Community Comes Together Amidst Devastation

State Rep. Ray Sorensen, who represents Greenfield, was painting at a church when the tornado struck. He rushed into town to find utter devastation, with numerous homes damaged or destroyed and nearly all of the historic trees in Greenfield uprooted and stripped of limbs.

Despite the chaos, Sorensen witnessed the community coming together to help those in need. People cleared debris from the streets to make way for emergency vehicles and helped transport the injured to a makeshift triage center at a lumber yard. “Everybody became little makeshift ambulances,” Sorensen said, describing how they pulled a man from the rubble and transported him to the temporary medical facility.

Severe Weather Outbreak Continues

The Greenfield tornado was just one of at least 26 reported tornadoes that struck across six states over 24 hours. Most of these twisters occurred in Iowa, with the National Weather Service confirming that 21 touched down between 5:44 p.m. and 11 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

More severe weather is expected to impact the region as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. The highest threat for tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail is forecasted for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, including major cities such as Dallas, Waco, Abilene, Little Rock, and Shreveport.

Governor Reynolds has authorized a proclamation of disaster emergency for 15 counties across the state and announced plans to request federal disaster relief from President Joe Biden.

Greenfield Iowa Tornado FAQ

What was the strength of the tornado that hit Greenfield, Iowa?

The National Weather Service preliminarily confirmed the Greenfield tornado as an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with maximum wind speeds reaching 135 mph.

 

How many tornadoes were reported during the severe weather outbreak?

At least 26 tornadoes were reported across six states over 24 hours, with the majority occurring in Iowa.

 

What damage did the Adair County Memorial Hospital sustain?

The Adair County Memorial Hospital sustained damage from the tornado, requiring the evacuation of staff and patients. The hospital is expected to remain closed for weeks or months while repairs are made.

 

How did the community respond to the disaster?

Community members quickly rallied to help those in need, clearing street debris, providing medical attention, and transporting the injured to a makeshift triage center.

 

What is the outlook for severe weather in the coming days?

More severe weather is expected in the coming days, with the highest threat for tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

 

Citation:

Chakrabarti, R. (2023, May 24). 4 dead, 35 injured in Greenfield, Iowa, as dozens of tornadoes impact 6 states. MSN. 

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