27 tornadoes hit Iowa, cause widespread damage

The National Weather Service says 27 tornadoes touched down across central Iowa Thursday.  The storms ripped through Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant.

In Marshalltown, damage is extensive, including part of the clock tower being blown off of the Marshall County Courthouse.  Police established a 9:00 p.m. curfew to get people off the streets after many homes and businesses were damaged. 

The Vermeer Corporation will be closed after a tornado hit Pella.  The twister caused heavy damage to two buildings on the Vermeer campus.  Hundreds of customers were at Vermeer for customer appreciation day.  Seven people were treated and released from the hospital while several others were treated at the scene.  

Bondurant was the first community to be hit by a tornado Thursday and the city says dozens of homes were damaged.  The twister led to a search of area homes and while that was happening, a gas leak was discovered.  

The National Weather Service crews from Johnston will spend the day surveying damage trying to assess the tornadoes' strength. One team will focus only on Marshall County while the other will go to Polk, Jasper, and Marion counties.

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