The tornadoes formed unexpectedly and hit the cities of Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant. Marshalltown suffered major damage, including to its police department and City Hall, while the Vermeer Plant in Pella took a direct hit from an apparent tornado. Brick walls collapsed in the streets, roofs were blown off buildings and the cupola of the historic courthouse tumbled 175 feet to the ground. UnityPoint Health hospital in Marshalltown was damaged and dozens patients were transfered o the health system’s hospitals in Waterloo and Grundy Center.
A tornado hit agricultural machinery maker Vermeer Manufacturing, where some people were still working, in the town of Pella, about 40 miles southeast of Des Moines. More than 2,000 customers were without power in central Iowa, Mid-American Energy reported after 6 p.m. Thursday. Alliant Energy reported more than 10,000 Iowans were without power.Weather forecasters said the tornadoes formed suddenly and took them by surprise. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported as of late Thursday night, and many of those taken to local hospitals were treated and released with minor injuries. There have also been two reported tornadoes in South Dakota and a reported tornado in Minnesota. Severe weather hit Friday the South and Midwest, including major cities like Birmingham, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis and Detroit.