But before the storm devastated Mapleton it first passed over our small town. The warning sirens sounded and, being the
But to the north of us, a mere two blocks away, we could see a large and incohesive mass of air that had whipped dirt into the mix, turning it a dark gray. Even though it seemed only "breezy" on our deck, we could see that two blocks north, there were patches and masses of dark roiling air. We knew that boiling mass could quickly evolve into a funnel.
Still...we stood there watching. We knew the air was moving eastward and not towards our deck.
In the meanwhile we had ordered pizza. Our daughter, who had gone to pick it up, was standing in Pizza Hut wondering whether to drive home or to hide in the bathroom with the rest of the pizza crowd. She was bummed that she missed the stormy view from our deck. I was worried about her! But she returned safely.
Our other daughter works in an assisted care facility on the north edge of town....exactly in the path of the pre-funnel cloud. The routine is to round up all residents and move them into the hallway. When they realized one male resident was missing, they found him standing outdoors with his binoculars watching the storm.
Residents of Mapleton, Iowa, did not fare so well. One online source stated that about 120 homes out of the town's 600 were destroyed. Thankfully, no lives were lost. The Sheriff and his crew had tracked the storm and requested warning sirens be sounded early. Those extra few minutes gave residents time to head for their basements or other protected areas. Major damage. But, I repeat, no lost lives. We are grateful for that.
There are numerous videos of this tornado on news sites and on youtube so I will not include a link...you can easily google and find them.
After the storm passed, our guests departed in several directions. But only after checking radar on iPad and iPhones. Pretty handy devices!