The National Weather Service has determined a total of 12 tornadoes touched down across central Iowa Thursday. According to their data, four hit the ground and caused damage locally, including one that developed northwest of Prairie City, another that dropped down east of Monroe, the EF-3 storm that crossed through Vermeer, and another northeast of Pella that crossed over T-14, 228th Place, and 240th Place. Downtown Marshalltown and parts of Vermeer Corporation were directly hit by a tornado with estimated peak wind speeds of 144 MPH, rating it EF-3 “severe” on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
In response to the tornado damage in Pella, a temporary IowaWORKS Center has opened in the community.Iowa Workforce Development opened the temporary office in Pella at The Well Resource Center, 419 E. Oskaloosa St. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Well phone number is 641-621-0164 ext. 706. IowaWORKS staff weill be available to work with business leaders and employees whose jobs may be displaced because of the storms.
Pella firefighters and other responding agencies battled a fire in a large metal barn at Paxton and Sons Saturday. Numerous first responders made their way to 2001 Fifield Road at 9:30 a.m. Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom said flames likely started on the second floor, and the access to the structure was difficult due to the extensive metal frame. It took over three hours to extinguish all flames and hot spots. An official cause has not been determined.