Destruction after EF-1 tornado rips through McGregor, Iowa

Road closed for public access

McGregor, Iowa is cleaning up after an EF-1 tornado ripped through town Wednesday.

Throughout Main Street, trees were down, bricks were ripped off buildings and structures were lifted off their foundations.

“It’s one you don’t wish for. You don’t want it here, said Mayor Harold Brooks.

It’s too early to determine the costt of all the damage, and although no major injuries have been reported, crews are still busy cleaning up the mess.

“They’re going up Main Street trying to clean up the utility areas, and in the process of doing so, make sure everybody stays hydrated and safe,” said Sheriff Mike Tschirgi.

The National Weather Service spent Wednesday morning assessing the damage.

“It looks like what we would call a high-end EF-1 tornado, maybe a low-end EF-2. Again, we’re still kind of reassessing,” said Todd Shea of the National Weather Service. “Most of the wind speeds in this area were 100-115 mph range, so a significant tornado nonetheless and caused quite a bit of impact here in the community.”

The National Weather Service said it has to take many factors into account when providing that assessment.

“Typically you would certainly have trees being snapped and uprooted. Some structural damage like we’re seeing here, but then you sometimes have to take into account sometimes the age of buildings, sometimes the surrounding areas like power lines and the impact the tornado had on surrounding buildings. So we’re trying to asses all that and get a big picture,” Shea said.

For the next several days crews will be busy, and the mayor wants to keep everybody focused on rebuilding.

“We do not need extra persons or equipment blocking the streets, so please stay away,” said Brooks.

The Iowa State Patrol is keeping the road leading into McGregor closed to public access.

The mayor of McGregor said it will be several days before the town is open to the public.