Tornado Damage

April 9, 2011 • Sac County, Iowa

Early in the evening of Saturday, April 9th, Sioux City TV stations discontinued normal programming
 to update the public on the series of tornadoes that were forming west and south of Sioux City
 and moving in a northeasterly direction across Northwest Iowa. The storms slowly moved out of
Sac County sometime after midnight.

This is a visual accounting of damage found in Sac County stretching from
Early on the west to Varina on the east. Due to privacy for those who lost so much
property in the storm, only the owner's initials have been placed on this website.
NOTE: Photographer did not travel to rural areas around Early even though many of
the farmers received extensive damage.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa

 
VIEW 2: Early, Iowa, house damage.


VIEW 3: Trailer house flipped on it's top. Not sure if someone had been inside
but no serious injuries were reported.


VIEW 4: Early, Iowa,. house damage


VIEW 5: Early, Iowa, Roof from the former Wadsley Implement building against house.


VIEW 6: Early, Iowa, Roof from former Wadsley Implement. Note insulation in the tree.


VIEW 7: Early, Iowa, Insulation from Wadsley Implement building in tree.


VIEW 8: Only the rafters remain on the front part of the former Wadsley Implement Building.


VIEW 9: View through front (Main Street) Windows


VIEW 10: Before photo of former Wadsley Implement Building taken in 2007.


VIEW 11: Side view of Wadsley Implement Building taken in 2006.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Trucking company shop and office across from Fire Station.


VIEW 2: Early, Iowa, Trucking company shop and office across from Fire Station.


Trucking company building at left before tornado. Photo taken May 11, 2010.


VIEW 3: Early, Iowa, back view of Trucking company shop and office across from Fire Station.


VIEW 4: Early, Iowa


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Doors ajar on elevator building.


VIEW 2: Early, Iowa, thing dangling at center, left is not supposed to be hanging there.
(Cement elevator building is straight, photo is skewed.)


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Former Cashway Lumber building on Main Street.


VIEW 2: Early, Iowa, Former Cashway Lumber building on Main Street.


VIEW 3: Early, Iowa, Former Cashway Lumber building on Main Street.


VIEW 4: Early, Iowa, Former Cashway Lumber building on Main Street.


VIEW 5: Early, Iowa, Former Cashway Lumber building on Main Street.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Main Street after street had been cleared of debris.


VIEW 2: Early, Iowa, Heartland Marketing had roof and window damage. Had already
put plywood over windows.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Rubble against fence in ball park.


VIEW 2: Early, Iowa, Rubble against fence in ball park.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Unknown bulding collapsed south of ball park.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, travel trailer on end in south part of town.


VIEW 1: Early, Iowa, Hardware Hank's carport upended.

This is the end of the Early, Iowa view. Continue on the road trip as photographer and
driver head to Nemaha following path of the destruction ending up in Varina where the
Nemaha UMC pastor resides.

Pocahontas also received damage but no photos were taken beyond Varina.



NW of Nemaha: D.M.'s hog buildings are completely flattened.
Only the grain bins and small shed by road are still standing.
The road was closed due to light poles and wires on the roadway.


VIEW 1: North of Nemaha: Back at the home site, D.M.'s machine sheds and barn were flattened.
 While the house received broken windows and damaged shingles, it and attached garage
 appeared to be liveable after some patching.


VIEW 2: Wagon on left had been inside a machine shed.


VIEW 3: D.M. had recently removed a grove of dying evergreens which left the buildings
 with little protection from the wind.


VIEW 4: Debris was scattered in the ditches and across the fields which were
almost ready for planting.


VIEW 5: Debris traveled in different directions from the source--depending on the
swirling of the wind as it took along the crushed metal.


VIEW 6: All metal was reduced to crumpled piles of tin with many thinner roofing sheets being
ripped into small, wrinkled pieces.


VIEW 7: D.M.'s place BEFORE the tornado (taken in May, 2008).
You can see the 2 grain bins behind the buildings that disappeared during the tornado.



Hog building NW of Nemaha. Half of the roof was gone.


Another view.


VEIW 1: L.S. lost a large metal building east of Nemaha--used to store hay and Machinery.


VIEW 2: He also had converted an old corn crib into a machine shed S of D15. It was flattened
and pieces covered the field east of the former building. Most of the major Nemaha damage
 occured north of D15.


VIEW 3: Remains of the Corn Crib/Machine Shed.


VIEW 4: Machinery that was left in place after the Corn Crib/Machine Shed blew apart.


VIEW 5: L.S. also lost part of the roof of one of the cattle sheds.


VIEW 1: N.J. is a seed corn dealer who lost two large machine sheds full of seed, the barn, and other buildings.
His house is located some distance away and appears to be intact but heard the mature oak trees
around the house were damaged.


VIEW 2: As large group of volunteers with loaders, forklifts, tractors, and a line of flat-bed trucks
showed up to load and move the large crates of seed to a weathertight location elsewhere.


VIEW 3: They were still at work late in the day loading the crates and pallets of bags
 onto the waiting trucks.


VIEW 4: Pieces of the buildings were strewn over a large area.


VIEW 5: Some pieces came to stop in the damaged grove.


VIEW 6: Cleanup of the debris will start after the seed containters are secure
at an alternate location.


VIEW 1: S.S. and L.S. had a row of hog buildings with hoop roofs that were completely flattened.
Grain bins were crushed or lost their lids. I'm not sure who was living in the house.


VIEW 2: S.S. and L.S. hoop hog buildings were completely flattened. There had been 4 or more
hoop buildings. Grain bins were also destroyed or lost their top.


VIEW 1: J. C. lost the ends of two barns and other damage.


VIEW 2: J.C.'s BEFORE photo, taken about 10 years ago.


VIEW 1: Across the road, L.S. lost
several of her buildings with damage to those left standing.


VIEW 2: The barn was flattened.


VIEW 3: Machine Shed has severe damage.


VIEW 4: In the middle of this picture is L.S.'s former barn.


View 1: Former dairy farm east of Nemaha now operated as an acreage with a variety of livestock
lost most of its buildings. Brick house and garage appear to be liveable.


VIEW 2: Debris from the former Dairy Farm is now scattered along the Raccoon River bottom.


VIEW 1: Hog confinement buildings NE of Nemaha


VIEW 2


VIEW 3


NE of Nemaha, a barn destroyed--loose hay from haymow is now at ground-level.


VIEW 1: NE of Nemaha--more roadside rubble


VIEW 2: More rubble between Nemaha and Newell.


VIEW 1: One of the houses that was severely damaged along with other buildings.
Located between Nemaha and Newell. Note the family and friends who arrived
to help and offer support.


View 2.


ViIEW 1: Large turkey confinement building being emptied. Note the lineup of waiting trucks.
Located west of Fonda.


VIEW 2: Some ofthe turkey buildings had only moderated damage.


VIEW 3: Other buildings were completely gone or flat.


VIEW 4: At the left of the photo behind the backhoe bucket is a cement foundation. The white
fluffy things are turkeys. They were just standing there looking around as the workers herded them
up to the conveyer to be loaded. They weren't trying to get out or run away, just stayed on the
floor that was familiar to them.


Damage near Fonda.


Another view near Fonda.


VIEW 1: Varina main street. Covered trailer tipped on side.


VIEW 2: Varina, heavy equipment stacking trees and brush.


VIEW 3: East end of Varina. At left in photo is former gymnasium of school.


VIEW 4: Row of heavily-damaged houses at east end of Varina. (Gym roof at left)


VIEW 5: Flattened bins in Varina.


VIEW 6: Closer view of school gym and other damage.


VIEW 7: Varina school gym


VIEW 8: Closer view of damaged houses at east side of Varina.


VIEW 9: Another view of damaged houses at east side of Varina.

SW of Varina, building on right had been a large, old barn. Lost the top.

SW of Varina, broken windows already boarded up.

SW of Varina

VIEW 1: SW of Varina, upturned wagons with one on top



VIEW 2: SW of Varina, pile of wagons on left. Light pole in ditch. Most downed electric poles
looked like they had been twisted and broken, not bent over the way heavy ice breaks them.

There was a cross-country high line that had fallen. We noticed the poles seemed to
be leaning for miles. Finally we saw the actual break where the poles had gone down. From there on,
nothing was visible, no poles or wires in the air. (no photo)

This ends the photo display of the road trip between Early and Varina, Iowa taken on April 10, 2011,
 the day after the tornadoes went through.


On April 13, 2011, Many area schools allowed students from grades 5th - 12th to spend the day
 cleaning up debris where needed.

Nemaha, Iowa -- Over 1,000 students from East Sac Middle and High School spent Wednesday
helping farmers and residents of the town of Nemaha clean up from Saturday night’s tornado that
ravaged several communities in Sac County and destroyed a number of farmsteads.East Sac Principal
Kevin Litterer says he received a call Monday from Lisa Pickhincke who farms in the area. Her daughter
is an East Sac graduate and her son currently attends school there. Pickhincke was hoping the school
district could work out a way to assist area residents with the cleanup. Litterer says they discussed it and
every kid in grades 5-12 who were at school Wednesday loaded on buses and headed to an area north
 and east of Nemaha as well as Nemaha itself. Litterer says this was important for the district to do.

They cleaned up over 4,800 acres and Litterer says it was a group effort.




VIEW 1: These students were from East Sac County Schools.


VIEW 2: The Sac County Pork and Beef Producers along with a host of volunteers
Prepared food and served beverages to the volunteer students at noon.


VIEW 3: These students were from East Sac County Schools.


VIEW 4: These students were from East Sac County Schools.


VIEW 5: These students were from East Sac County Schools.


VIEW 6: These students were from East Sac County Schools.


VIEW 1: Students for other schools spread out and over the fields and carried debris to the tractors.


VIEW 2: There were also adult volunteers out in the fields picking up lumber and tin.


VIEW 3: Trash literally covered fields over a mile from where a building had been standing.


VIEW 4: The weather on Student volunteer cleanup day was cool but dry. Rain was predicted for the next day.


VIEW 5: A large assortment of loaders, bobcats, dump trucks, and tractors were needed to haul
the rubbish back to the homesteads.


VIEW 5: Many trees were had their roots pulled out of the ground.


VIEW 6: While many tractors lost their glass, they were still used in the cleanup.


VIEW 7: It didn't take long before the trucks were almost full.


VIEW 8: The electric companies were hard at work restoring power to the damaged farmsteads.


VIEW 9: A mountain of tin was neatly stacked by the end of the cleanup day.
It will probably be hauled to a salvage yard.



VIEW 10: One pickup that had extensive damage.


VIEW 11: Not much left.


VIEW1: Nemaha was the headquarters for the student workers.
Lisa Pickhinke checks the map at the Nemaha Fire station where the students had lunch.
It took a lot of work to make sure all areas were covered by the end of the day.


VIEW 2: Lunch is served by volunteers on Main Street, Nemaha. The buses converged on the
town at staggered times which helped feed the large quantity of volunteers.
Port-a-potties had been placed on Main Street.


VIEW 3: Picnic tables on wheels had been pulled in for the day.



VIEW 1: Another area is being covered by volunteers.


VIEW 2: The buses went to their assigned location and let the students out.


VIEW 4: The students were not hesitant to get dirty in order to get the debris out
of the drainage ditches...even if they needed a little help getting up to solid ground.


VIEW 5: Girls and Boys worked side-by-side in the cleanup.
What a neat bunch of students who were not afraid to get dirty.


VEIW 6: Bus from East Sac County Schools.


VIEW 7: Whenever the trash was too heavy for one person to carry, multiple people
assisted to get the item(s) to the waiting tractors.


VIEW 8: Line of busses waiting for the student workers.


VIEW 9: I hope no one fell into the waterways as they retrieved the junk. This creative pair figured
out how to pull a submerged item from the depths.


Specifications from the Nation Weather Service

The National Weather Service furnished statistics of the tornadoes. At least five
individual tornadoes were followed by radar as they went across country.

    * Tornado "A"--Sac County
    * Tornado "B"--Sac County
    * Tornado "C"--Sac, Buena Vista & Pocahontas Counties
    * Tornado "D"--Pocahontas County
    * Tornado "E"--Kossuth County
    * Tornado "F"--Sac County

For reference, the Enhanced Fujita tornado scale classifies tornadoes
 into the following categories:

    * EF0:  wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.
    * EF1:  wind speeds of 86 to 110 mph.
    * EF2:  wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph.
    * EF3:  wind speeds of 136 to 165 mph.
    * EF4:  wind speeds of 166 to 200 mph.
    * EF5:  wind speeds of greater than 200 mph.

Tornado "A"--Sac County

Quick facts:

    * Event date:  April 9, 2011.
    * Event time:  to be determined.
    * Intensity rating:  EF3.
    * Event location:  began on the north edge of Odebolt and ended 6.2 miles NW of Early.
    * Peak wind:  140 mph.
    * Peak path width:  1 mile.
    * Path length:  13 miles.
    * Injuries:  unknown.
    * Fatalities:  none known.



Damage from Tornado A

Tornado "B"--Sac County

Quick facts:

    * Event date:  April 9, 2011.
    * Event time:  to be determined.
    * Intensity rating:  EF2.
    * Event location:  began 4.3 miles NW of Odebolt and ended 1.2 miles NE of Early.
    * Peak wind:  132 mph.
    * Peak path width:  1/2 mile.
    * Path length:  13 miles.
    * Injuries:  unknown.
    * Fatalities:  none known.



Damage from Tornado B


Damage from Tornado B

Tornado "C"--Sac, Buena Vista & Pocahontas Counties

Quick facts:

    * Event date:  April 9, 2011.
    * Event time:  to be determined.
    * Intensity rating:  EF3.
    * Event location:  began 0.5 miles WSW of Nemaha and ended 3.4 miles SW of Havelock.
    * Peak wind:  140 mph.
    * Peak path width:  2 to 3 miles.  ** Note:  the path width is being re-assessed. **
    * Path length:  30 miles.
    * Injuries:  unknown.
    * Fatalities:  none known.



Damage to Varina from Tornado C


Damage from Tornado C

Tornado "D"--Pocahontas County

Quick facts:

    * Event date:  April 9, 2011.
    * Event time:  to be determined.
    * Intensity rating:  EF3.
    * Event location:  began 8.0 miles W Pocahontas and ended 6.0 miles SW Pocahontas.
      It then merged into the track of tornado "C" detailed above.
    * Peak wind:  165 mph.
    * Peak path width:  300-400 yards.
    * Path length:  3 miles.
    * Injuries:  unknown.
    * Fatalities:  none known.




Damage from Tornado D


Damage from Tornado D

Tornado "E"--Kossuth County

Quick facts:

    * Event date:  April 9, 2011.
    * Event time:  to be determined.
    * Intensity rating:  EF1.
    * Event location:  began 2.6 miles WNW of St. Joseph and ended 1.9 miles NW of St. Joseph.
    * Peak wind:  90 mph.
    * Peak path width:  200 yards.
    * Path length:  1 mile.
    * Injuries:  unknown.
    * Fatalities:  none known.





Damage from Tornado E


Tornado "F"--Sac County

Quick facts:

    * Event date:  April 9, 2011.
    * Event time:  to be determined.
    * Intensity rating:  EF2.
    * Event location:  began 3.3 miles NW of Nemaha and ended 9.0 miles NE of Nemaha.
    * Peak wind:  125 mph.
    * Peak path width:  1/2 mile.
    * Path length:  12 miles.
    * Injuries:  unknown.
    * Fatalities:  none known.




Damage from Tornado F

Photos shown below were taken by storm chasers:


Tornado spotted in Odebolt area

Tornado spotted in Mapleton area

Tornato spotted in Mapleton area

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Updated 4/16/2011