Archive for Monday, May 26, 2008

Powerful storms wreak havoc in Iowa, Minn., killing 8

Houses are seen pushed away from their foundations Sunday after a severe storm swept through Hugo, Minn. Severe storms in Minnesota and Iowa on Sunday killed at least eight people.

Houses are seen pushed away from their foundations Sunday after a severe storm swept through Hugo, Minn. Severe storms in Minnesota and Iowa on Sunday killed at least eight people.

May 26, 2008

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— Severe thunderstorms packing large hail and tornadoes rumbled across the nation's midsection on Sunday, killing at least eight people and damaging dozens of homes, authorities said.

Iowa Homeland Security administrator Dave Miller said seven of the dead were killed by a tornado in northeast Iowa - five from Parkersburg, 80 miles northeast of Des Moines, and two from nearby New Hartford. At least 50 injuries were reported.

"Occasionally we have a death, but we have warning system. Seven deaths. It's been a long time since we've had those kinds of injuries and deaths reported," Miller said.

Witnesses reported parts of Parkersburg - particularly the town's southern side - were reduced to rubble, including most of the town's high school and homes.

A tornado also struck just to the east in the nearby town of Dunkerton and elsewhere in Black Hawk County, where there were reports of homes damaged or destroyed. Dunkerton has fewer than 800 residents, and New Hartford has about 700 people.

At least 20 people were unaccounted for in Minnesota after a swift storm blew through the St. Paul suburb of Hugo, damaging about four dozen homes, City Administrator Mike Ericson said. Many of the residents could be out of town for the holiday weekend, he said.

A 2-year-old child was killed and the child's sibling was critically injured and taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said. The children's parents also were hospitalized with injuries sustained in the family home.

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