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Iowa tornado destroys rural town as police confirm fatalities

Severe weather in the Midwest on Tuesday brought flooding to Nebraska and tornadoes to Iowa where police confirmed fatalities in the small town of Greenfield. Photo courtesy of Omaha Police Department
Severe weather in the Midwest on Tuesday brought flooding to Nebraska and tornadoes to Iowa where police confirmed fatalities in the small town of Greenfield. Photo courtesy of Omaha Police Department

May 22 (UPI) -- An unknown number of people were killed Tuesday in western Iowa after a strong tornado tore through the town of Greenfield, leveling everything in its path.

Greenfield, which has a population of about 2,000 and is located about 50 miles southwest of Des Moines, suffered major damage as the Iowa State Patrol confirmed "multiple fatalities."

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"Sadly, we can confirm that there have been fatalities with this tornado. Also, injuries have been sustained by residents in the Greenfield area," Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Alex Dinkla told reporters Tuesday, adding that the exact number of those killed or injured would not be confirmed until Wednesday.

Dinkla said Adair County Memorial Hospital was also damaged, forcing about a dozen people who were injured in the tornado to evacuate to hospitals outside of the area.

Drone video showed a wide path of destruction after the tornado hit.

"Greenfield, Iowa is completely leveled by the tornado track! It's very bad here," Chicago and Midwest Storm Chasers wrote Tuesday in a post on X.

"The Greenfield community has shown incredible unity during this challenging time with neighbors and friends displaying remarkable compassion, empathy and support," Dinkla said.

"The Greenfield community has a long road ahead of them. But if they're actions today are any indication of what lies ahead, they will emerge stronger and more united than ever."

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for 15 counties impacted by Tuesday's severe weather, and said she planned to visit Greenfield Wednesday morning to assess the damage.

"My prayers are with all the communities and families impacted by today's severe weather, and especially those who tragically lost their lives in the Greenfield area. I am committed to providing the full resources of the state to support the response and recovery effort," Reynolds said in a statement.

"It was just a few weeks ago that tornadoes hit several other Iowa communities, and it's hard to believe that it's happened again," Reynolds added.

"Iowans are strong and resilient, and we will get through this together."

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