· ·

Massive tornadoes strike Iowa, including Greenfield and Carbon, causing major damage and casualties

A series of powerful tornadoes struck Iowa on May 21, 2024, with a significant impact on Greenfield, killing at least three people and injuring a dozen others. Severe weather also affected Nebraska, Illinois, and other regions, with tornadoes, high winds, and hail causing widespread damage.

A series of powerful tornadoes struck Iowa on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, resulting in significant destruction across several towns. The most severe impact was in Greenfield, where several people were killed, and a dozen were injured when a tornado hit the town around 15:30 local time.

Greenfield, located approximately 88 km (55 miles) southwest of Des Moines, has a population of 2 057. The tornado caused extensive damage to homes, businesses, and cars, as well as the Adair County Health System hospital. Windows at the hospital and on nearby cars were shattered, prompting an evacuation.

“We do have confirmed fatalities,” said Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla during a news conference, adding that authorities were still determining the exact number of victims.

The tornado flattened much of Greenfield’s central area. According to the Des Moines Register, “What’s left of homes are piles of rubble. Trees are stripped of their bark, while some are uprooted. Dozens of emergency vehicles line streets that are no longer walkable. Power lines are down.”

Authorities restricted entry to the town until Wednesday morning and instructed media to leave by Tuesday night.

In addition to Greenfield, suspected tornadoes caused damage in other Iowa towns such as Red Oak, Carbon and Corning. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued multiple tornado warnings for areas near Griswold, Corning, Fontanelle, and Guthrie Center.

One tornado damaged several 76 m (250 foot) wind turbines in Prescott, southwest Iowa, some of which caught fire and smoldered for hours.

Omaha, Nebraska, also experienced severe weather on Tuesday, with sirens blaring and power outages due to heavy rain, high winds, and large hail. The storms flooded basements and submerged cars. In Illinois, dust storms forced the closure of two interstate highways due to low visibility, with wind gusts between 56 km/h (35 mph) and 74 km/h (45 mph).

The recent storms are part of a broader pattern of extreme weather affecting the central United States. Over the past few days, strong winds, large hail, and tornadoes have impacted Oklahoma and Kansas, causing injuries and property damage. Colorado and western Nebraska saw severe storms Monday night, with Yuma, Colorado, experiencing hail the size of baseballs and golf balls.

Last week’s deadly storms in the Houston area of Texas resulted in at least eight fatalities and widespread power outages. The most recent casualty, a man who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while using a generator, was added to the total on Tuesday, May 21.

The NWS forecasts continued severe weather, warning that strong thunderstorms could develop from central Texas to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes on Wednesday, May 22.

Areas from north Texas to the Ozarks are at the highest risk for damaging hail and winds.

Additionally, parts of south Texas and Florida will face dangerous heat over the coming days, with extreme heat stress potentially lasting into next week.


1 Tornadoes cause destruction in Iowa as deadly storms race across state – FOX Weather – May 22, 2024

2 Tornado devastates Iowa town, killing multiple people as powerful storms rip through Midwest – AP – May 22, 2024

3 Short Range Forecast Discussion – NWS WPC – College Park MD 417 PM EDT Tue May 21 2024


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *