Mostly minor injuries from Iowa tornado

April 10, 2011 at 11:52 AM
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MAPLETON, Iowa, April 10 (UPI) -- Officials in western Iowa said Sunday there did not appear to be any fatalities from a tornado that tore up the town of Mapleton overnight.

Authorities in Monoa County told reporters that about half of the town was destroyed by the storm that blew through shortly after sunset, but the casualty list appeared to be limited to minor injuries.

"When you first get into town, there's not a grain bin standing," Galen Bollig, who lives on the outskirts of Mapleton, told the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal. "There's not a window left in a single car, and the garages are all lying flat."

The Journal said emergency crews, including the Iowa National Guard, were on the scene to assist residents whose homes were damaged. Gov. Terry Branstad also visited the scene Sunday after declaring an emergency for the county.

The tornado was one of several generated by a storm system that moved through Iowa overnight. The National Weather Service said another round of thunderstorms late in the day was possible.

Thunderstorms also came ashore in the northern reaches of Michigan's lower peninsula Sunday and the NWS had wind and red-flag fire advisories posted over much of the Great Plains.

In North Carolina, the Charlotte area was hit by powerful thunderstorms, hail, strong winds and lightning Saturday night, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Several tornado warnings were declared.

Lightning struck an American Dog Breeders Association show in Morganton, N.C., around 6 p.m., hitting nine people and killing a dog. Seven people were taken to a hospital.

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