There’s nothing like logging countless miles in pursuit of mother nature, only to have her slap you in the face!
The same pesky front responsible for the severe weather on June 20th, spawned a severe thunderstorm that went on to produce an EF-3 tornado within 20-30 miles of my home. Of course where was I? At work 45 min away. At least I wasn’t on the other side of the state or better yet, in a different state all together. 😉
After arriving home from work, I grabbed my gear and decided to document some of the tornado damage. Not knowing exactly where things started, I headed SE of Columbia, Iowa and decided to travel the gravel roads until I came upon the damage path.
Approximately 3-5 mi SE of Columbia, I found what I was looking for. Stopping at one house on 570th Ave, I learned from the homeowner that almost every “old growth” oak tree had been knocked down on his property. Somehow as the tornado raged outside, the wife and children took shelter inside their house. Miraculously, the house was totally untouched. The home owner’s pickup truck didn’t fair so well, being buried under several trees.
For the next hour and a half, I weaved my way SE through NW Monroe County, eventually ending up in Albia, Iowa. Albia sustained more tornado damage, as the tornado came through the SW part of town. The damage path started about 1-2 miles west of town and continued through the far SW part of the town.
Having to deal with traffic, and the fact that power was out to all of Albia, I decided to head home as it was getting late and the sun light was fading.
The NWSFO in Des Moines ended up rating this tornado as an “EF3″ due to damage to a farmstead W of Lovilla. I didn’t come upon this farm (due to flooded roads probably).
My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected.
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SPC Convective Outlook Verification Map: