- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

PANORA, Iowa (AP) - Preliminary data recorded Monday shows a significant tornado of winds that reached 115 mph touched down in central Iowa during severe weather that hit swaths of the state, including a small lake community where several condominiums were destroyed.

The National Weather Service says a line of thunderstorms produced at least one tornado Sunday night, classified as an EF2 storm, that hit the community surrounding Lake Panorama in Panora. The tornado was first recorded south of Guthrie Center before it traveled more than 16 miles northeast. It went across Lake Panorama and dissipated near Yale. No injuries were reported.

Officials were still surveying damage to determine if other tornadoes were recorded. More severe weather was also expected Monday, mainly thunderstorms and potential flash flooding.

At least eight condominiums near Lake Panorama were destroyed by strong winds and rain, according to the Lake Panorama Association. About a dozen other homes sustained damage, including by fallen tree limbs.

Lucinda Robertson, a spokeswoman for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said other areas of the state received some damage, including Sioux County in northwest Iowa and Lee County in southeast Iowa. Pottawattamie County in western Iowa reported some power outages.

But the community surrounding Lake Panorama, located in Guthrie County about 40 miles west of Des Moines, appears to have gotten the brunt of the storm. All the heavily damaged condominiums were unoccupied at the time, except for one where a man took shelter in a bathroom and was found unharmed.

John Rutledge, general manager of the Lake Panorama Association, said the timing of the storm - at the end of a spring weekend - meant many homes were still unoccupied. Lake Panorama has about 1,000 residences, half of which are used by seasonal residents who take part in recreational activity on the lake during warmer months.

“We would probably have a much different story to tell if it was a Friday or Saturday night, especially maybe on Fourth of July weekend or Memorial Day weekend,” Rutledge said. “The timing of this was actually quite good for us. We feel like we were pretty lucky.”

Surrounding states were also affected by the weather Sunday night. Snow blanketed much of the Nebraska Panhandle, as well as parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

Storm cleanup for Lake Panorama could begin as early as Tuesday, though residents could already start bringing brush to two yard-waste facilities.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide