1931: A late season severe weather outbreak struck southeastern Iowa. One storm produced a violent tornado that touched down in Van Buren County about 10 miles southwest of Fairfield and traveled northeast across Jefferson, Henry, and Washington counties before dissipating near Cotter in Louisa County. This tornado killed 2 people and injured 8 others as it completely leveled several farms north of Noble in southeastern Washington County. Another storm struck Davis County producing at least two tornadoes along with very large hail from Bloomfield to Floris. In Bloomfield an observer wrote that “the large hailstones, some more than 2.5 inches in diameter, driven by the wind, broke more than 15,000 glass window panes. Nearly every roof along the path needed repair, and at least 600 homes had to be reroofed.”
1894: A late season outbreak of violent tornadoes struck northern Iowa including several that produced F4 or higher damage. These severe storms affected areas from near Le Mars where a narrow tornado passed through corn fields, east northeast all the way to Mitchell and Howard counties and into southern Minnesota. One particularly violent tornado produced great destruction southwest of Ruthven and barely missed Emmetsburg and Algona. Another very violent tornado moved northeast from near Mason City, narrowly missing Osage and crossing into southern Minnesota. At least three people were killed by this storm in Cerro Gordo County and at least four more died in Mitchell County. A third extremely violent tornado moved northeast on a nearly parallel track across Mitchell and Howard counties from near Osage to several miles southwest of Cresco, killing another five people in Mitchell County. In Iowa a total of 53 people were killed and more than 200 were injured during this severe weather outbreak.
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This post was written by Schnack on September 21, 2012