The National Weather Service believes an EF-1 tornado struck downtown McGregor Wednesday night. That is a preliminary assessment after the National Weather Service surveyed the damage – it has not yet been confirmed.
The small Clayton County town sustained heavy damage when severe thunderstorms with powerful winds and heavy rain quickly moved through between 6 and 6:30 pm.
During a press conference this morning, Clayton County officials say their top priority right now is keeping residents and first responders safe, along with restoring power to the main lines. Currently, they are not allowing volunteers into McGregor – only certified companies with tree removal equipment. Law enforcement is blocking traffic at each access to McGregor. If you would like to help as a volunteer, they say there may be opportunities for that in the coming days.
Officials say McGregor’s Main Street took the hardest hit from the apparent tornado, with several buildings severely damaged or perhaps destroyed. One official says he has never seen storm damage this bad in McGregor in 50-plus years.
They have not received any reports of injuries in Clayton County. Any storm victims needing food or shelter can go to St. Mary’s Church in McGregor.
Another press conference is planned for 4 pm today.
More severe storms are possible again tonight, Friday and Saturday. Stay with Mix 94.7 KMCH for the latest weather updates.
(photos courtesy of Iowa Storm Chasing Network Facebook page)