America

'Somebody Was Looking Out' For People In Iowa Town Crushed By Tornado

Jason Mauch, center, carried a basket of belonging from his destroyed house in Mapleton, Iowa, on Sunday (April 10, 2011). i i

Jason Mauch, center, carried a basket of belonging from his destroyed house in Mapleton, Iowa, on Sunday (April 10, 2011). Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Nati Harnik/AP
Jason Mauch, center, carried a basket of belonging from his destroyed house in Mapleton, Iowa, on Sunday (April 10, 2011).

Jason Mauch, center, carried a basket of belonging from his destroyed house in Mapleton, Iowa, on Sunday (April 10, 2011).

Nati Harnik/AP

"At least 10 tornadoes took their best swipe at northwest Iowa on Saturday," The Des Moines Register writes this morning. And the one that hit the town of Mapleton was particularly powerful.

It was an estimated three-quarters of a mile wide and packed winds of up to 136 miles per hour. According to the Register, half of the town of 1,200 people was turned into rubble. "But the human toll was minimal — a broken leg was the worst injury reported Sunday."

"Somebody was looking out for this community," Monona County Sheriff Jeff Pratt told the Register. "We're very lucky."

Mapleton residents Jim and Dixie Peters talked to the Register about what they experienced for a video report. They fled for their lives. Dixie Peters ended up in a ditch, clinging to a wooden post as the storm threw mud all over her. "I'm afraid I'm going to be reliving that for longer than I want to," she says.

Des Moines Register/YouTube

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.