Midwest tornadoes kill 7, including toddler
Seven people died in tornadoes that blew through the Midwestern United States on Sunday, with six reported dead in Iowa and a toddler in Minnesota, authorities said Monday.
Authorities in Iowa had reported that seven people died in Sunday's storm but lowered that total to six on Monday, said Bret Voorhees, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
A tornado touched down at about 6 p.m. Sunday in the north-central Iowa town of Parkersburg before moving 10 miles east to New Hartford, Voorhees said.
Spotters also reported a tornado near Dunkerton -- about 40 miles east of Parkersburg -- that they said caused considerable damage and flung debris as the storm moved at 23 mph. Marble-size hail fell in Waterloo, where authorities reported significant damage to homes, trees and power lines.
"Early reports indicate that these communities have suffered severe and widespread damage, and I plan to visit the region very soon to offer my support to those affected," Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said in a statement. He declared disaster areas in three counties.
Meanwhile, a Minnesota twister killed a 2-year-old and seriously injured nine others -- including another child -- in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The tornado struck Hugo, about 25 miles north of the Twin Cities, destroying 50 homes and damaging another 150, city manager Mike Ericson said.
The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado in Hugo that touched down just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and authorities reported twisters in nearby Coon Rapids and Blaine.
Video footage from the scene showed chairs, televisions, shingles and other debris tossed into the streets of Hugo. Nickel-size hail and larger pelted the suburb.
Sgt. Rick Boone of the Coon Rapids Police Department said a twister cut through the middle of town, downing trees and causing minor damage to several homes. No fatalities or injuries were immediately reported.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty planned to meet with local authorities Monday afternoon and tour the affected areas.
Also Sunday, authorities in Moore County, Texas, reported sightings of three twisters.
On Saturday, tornadoes formed over northern Oklahoma, skipping across the rural landscape and severely damaging a hog farm about an hour northwest of Oklahoma City. There were no reports of injuries, officials said.
However, two people were found dead Saturday in south-central Kansas in a car accident that authorities said a tornado caused.