A tornado caused damage in the Oelwein area on Saturday night.
The National Weather Service says they received several reports of tornadoes in Fayette and Buchanan counties.
The first tornado report came in at 6:18 pm from Buchanan County Emergency Management, who reported a tornado on the ground one mile south/southwest of Fairbank near Baxter Avenue and V-56 Road. Golf-ball sized hail was reported about ten minutes later two miles southeast of Otterville, with a second tornado report coming in at that time too. Emergency Management reported a large tornado on the ground doing damage three miles north/northeast of Littleton around 6:30 pm.
A few minutes later as the storms moved into Fayette County, Fayette County Emergency Management reported a tornado one mile west of Oelwein, with damage to apartment buildings and trees in Red Gate Park. The tornado tore off part of the wall of a 12-unit apartment building and damaged the siding of a second building in the complex. Oelwein police said no serious injuries were reported. Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher said the storm knocked down branches and some power lines elsewhere in Oelwein and in rural parts of the county. Residents of the apartment complex whose homes were damaged sought shelter in a nearby hotel.
A half hour later around 7 pm, a storm chaser reported a funnel cloud a mile south/southwest of Fayette – describing it as a “rope funnel” and possible tornado.
Funnel clouds were also reported in Clayton County in the St. Olaf area, as well as near the intersection of Garber Road and Osterdock Road.
As the storms seemed to die down in the north, they were starting to pop up again the southeast portion of the listening area. In Jones County, a trained spotter reported a funnel cloud one mile north/northeast of Monticello shortly before 8 pm. Thunderstorm wind gusts up to 68 miles per hour were reported in Dubuque County a mile east/southeast of Farley around 8:15 pm. And damage was reported one mile north/northwest of Sherrill, where farm windows were blown out, outbuilding damaged and trees and power lines downed. Dubuque County Emergency Management Director Tom Berger said at least six farms were damaged by a tornado near Sherrill. The storm also destroyed multiple farm buildings and damaged at least two houses north of Potosi, Wisconsin.
It was the first severe weather outbreak of the season. Quieter weather is expected this week, with a chance of showers today and again on Friday.
top photo of storm spotting courtesy of Masonville Fire/EMS; first two bottom photos of Oelwein damage courtesy of Faye Stewart; last bottom photo of tree downed south of Dundee at 165th St/130th Ave courtesy of Mitch Knipper