Tornado in Iowa.  Buildings were destroyed to the ground.  There are deaths

The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced the death toll while rescue teams searched debris-strewn fields for people who may have been trapped.

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“When we’re dealing with this number of homes that have been completely destroyed, we want to make sure everyone’s account is accounted for,” Sergeant Alex Dinkla of the Iowa State Patrol said at a morning news conference.

Details about the exact circumstances of the storm-related deaths have not been released. Their identities are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

Of the 35 people injured in the tornado, at least 14 were transported to hospitals outside the county. Officials added that the actual number of wounded was likely higher.

“It’s terrible. It’s hard to describe,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who declared a disaster in 15 counties.

One of many hurricanes

The tornado that touched down in Greenfield was one of several tornadoes that struck southwest Iowa Tuesday afternoon and evening. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said initial reports showed 23 possible tornadoes, most of them in Iowa.

Reynolds said state officials are working to send a request to President Joe Biden for federal aid for state residents.

Among the damaged buildings in Greenfield was a hospital, forcing authorities to set up a temporary medical care center at the sawmill site and send some of the injured to other facilities in the area.

State Rep. Ray Sorensen said many residents used their cars to transport the injured to safety shortly after the storm struck.

“We pulled the man out of the rubble, put him on a stretcher we made and threw him into the back of a truck,” he said.

The National Weather Service said there were at least three tornadoes in Texas on Wednesday evening, including one in the town of Temple, located about 90 kilometers northeast of Austin. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.

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