Central Iowa was the scene of a “sudden” tornado outbreak on Thursday, resulting in some breathtaking videos and photos capturing the terror of multiple funnels that spun through the state.
The town of Bondurant, just northeast of Des Moines, saw multiple funnels caught on camera, including one amazing image from a passenger on an incoming flight taken through their airplane window.
Thursday’s outbreak even caught forecasters with the National Weather Service by surprise. Rod Donovan, with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, told the Des Moines Register, “we were surprised by the unexpected strength of these. The numbers and the strength of these were a little more than we expected.”
Forecasters had predicted some strong storms possible with hail and wind being the primary threats. But multiple supercells fired off throughout the afternoon, spawning the damaging tornados.
More footage of the dual twisters was captured near Ankeny, just north of Des Moines.
Marshalltown, about 55 miles northeast of Des Moines, was one of the hardest hit communities as a powerful tornado ripped through the downtown area, causing “catastrophic damage” to many buildings, including City Hall, and prompting a state of emergency.
Pella, Iowa, about 40 miles southeast of Des Moines, was also slammed hard as a tornado destroyed homes and a Vermeer Manufacturing plant.
While there was heavy damage to structures and over a dozen injuries reported throughout the area, so far there have been no fatalities reported.
Governor Kim Reynolds plans to tour the damaged communities on Friday.