A large tornado touched down Wednesday night, making its way through several area counties.
The National Weather Service issued the first tornado warning shortly after 6:30 pm based on radar-indicated rotation in Linn County. Funnel clouds with debris were spotted just south of Central City soon after.
It was opening night at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Central City, with most fairgoers in the grandstands for the fair’s opening program featuring 4-H awards and the queen crowning. Fair Manager Heidi Steffen tells KMCH they had been keeping an eye on the weather and went into action when the Tornado Warning was issued.
Steffen says the Linn County Fairgrounds did sustain some damage.
Moments after the funnel clouds were spotted, a large tornado was confirmed on the ground heading into Prairieburg. The Prairieburg Fire Department reported that the tornado traveled through Prairieburg, tipping over semis and taking down houses, garages and grain bins. Linn County Emergency Management has reported that one person was injured in Prairieburg. They say the person was trapped inside their destroyed home.
From there, the tornado headed northeast, making its way into northern Jones and southern Delaware counties. Steve Turnis, who lives near Sand Springs, told KMCH the tornado caused destruction at the home of his neighbor, Jeanette Freese.
Turnis says Freese was not home when the tornado hit.
The tornado was also reported on the ground just north of Cascade. No other damage reports have come in at this time, but we expect more to be reported to the National Weather Service heading into Thursday.
If you have any photos of the tornado or damage, or any damage reports to pass along, please send those to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our KMCH Facebook page.
The Linn County Fair says all events will go on as planned Thursday, though some events may have to be moved to a different location on the fairgrounds. You can get the latest updates on their fair week activities at TheLinnCountyFair.com or on their Facebook page.
Another round of severe weather is possible Thursday afternoon and evening.
(top photo courtesy of KCRG-TV9/Kim Moorman – taken from Highway 13 between Coggon and Central City; middle photo courtesy of Cody Hunter – taken near Sand Springs; bottom photo courtesy of Katie Heady – taken in Prairieburg of Nagel Grain facility)