Archive for Sunday, June 3, 2007

Residents sift through tornado-damaged homes

June 3, 2007

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— Dozens of residents on Saturday picked through the shredded remains of homes leveled by a tornado that twisted through three eastern Iowa communities a night earlier.

Destruction was visible across Muscatine County and surrounding areas, where the tornado, with winds between 136 to 140 mph, cut through businesses and homes and knocked down trees and power lines.

It caused only minor injuries as it struck the town of Grandview, went north through Fruitland and dissipated in the Muscatine area about 10 minutes later, authorities said.

The number of homes damaged by the storm could reach "triple digits," Muscatine police Lt. Brett Talkington said.

He said cleanup efforts by city crews and local residents were hampered by heavy traffic caused by "sightseers."

"Our biggest issue is people in the area who don't need to be there," Talkington said. "We've been called by the city crews a couple times of traffic being so bad with cars in the area that they can't do their job."

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