Tornado Ravages Iowa Town
About 20% of Mapleton 'almost flat,' says mayor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 10, 2011 3:20 PM CDT
Stock photo of a tornado.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A tornado at least a quarter of a mile wide struck Mapleton, Iowa, last night, damaging more than half of the 1200-person town. The mayor estimated about 20% of the town was "almost flat." The huge, centuries-old trees the town was named for had been pulled out of the ground and wrapped around houses and tossed on top of cars; a huge motor home had been flipped on its side. The roof was blown off a high school; power lines were downed and utilities damaged; homes and buildings were destroyed. Two people sustained minor injuries.

The tornado destroyed 12 to 15 blocks in the southwest corner of Mapleton when it struck about 7:20pm yesterday, the county sheriff said. It stretched from a quarter- to a half-mile and had wind speeds of 105mph to 135mph, he added. The twister was one of several reported in Iowa. The National Weather Service said it was assessing damage in Sac, Pocohontas and Kossuth counties today after unconfirmed reports of tornadoes there as well.