13 Years Ago, Killer F5 Tornado Roared Through Eastern Iowa
The afternoon of May 25, 2008, many Iowa residents noticed the sky had turned an eerie shade of green. That was the first sign that something bad was potentially imminent. By the time the day was over, a 43-mile path of destruction would be all that was left after an F5 tornado destroyed many communities in central and eastern Iowa.
Wikipedia tells the story of the tornado outbreak that began May 22 and continued through May 31. They noted that alerts had been issued by the National Weather Service of potential trouble that day:
On May 25, notices for moderate risk of severe weather were issued for northern Kansas, southern Nebraska, eastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and western Wisconsin with a slight risk from Texas to northwestern Ontario.
Weather.gov tells the story of what happened next:
The tornado began near the Butler and Grundy County line, 2 miles south of Aplington, Iowa at 4:48 pm CDT. The tornado grew quickly in size and intensity over the next few minutes as it approached Parkersburg.
Within the next hour, 200 homes would be destroyed leaving 50 people injured and 9 residents lost their lives. In total, the twister left millions of dollars of damage, but it's the human toll most of us now remember.
Aerial video of the damage that day was staggering.
May 25, 2008 was the first time Iowa had seen an EF5 tornado since 1976 as Weather.gov documents. We recently passed the 53rd anniversary of the killer Charles City tornado. Now that 13 years have passed since the Parkersburg twister, let's hope we don't have any storms like it to remember in the future.