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Weekend tornadoes update

A team from the National Weather Service has surveyed damage of Saturday evening's storm to confirm its size. The weather service says that in addition to the path, its team measured the tornado at three-quarters of a mile wide at one point.

The twister was measured to be on the lower end of an EF3, which packs wind speeds of 136 to 165 mph.

The Monona County sheriff says the storm damaged 12 to 15 blocks of the town's southwest corner. He says two people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. The weather service says it has gotten reports of 12 to 14 injuries, the most severe a broken leg.

MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) Mapleton will be without utilities for the next two weeks.

Monona County sheriff Jeff Pratt says gas was turned off in Mapleton after Saturday evening's storm destroyed 12 to 15 blocks of the town's southwest corner. He says the gas will remain off for two weeks but power should be restored in the next day or so.

Residents in the town of 1,200 were returning to their homes Sunday to assess damage.

Jamy Garden wandered through her back yard in a blood-splattered hooded sweat shirt, her right hand and left knee wrapped in gauze. She says everything in her house was tossed around. Her two dogs are safe, but she hasn't yet found her cat.


POCAHONTAS, Iowa (AP) The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes in northwest Iowa, in addition to the one that ravaged the town of Mapleton.

The tornadoes swept through the area Saturday evening. The weather service says twisters have been confirmed in Sac County and its staff will continue to view damage Monday.

The weather service says one tornado touched down northeast of Odebolt and was on the ground for nine miles, ending near Early. A second one took a similar path and was on the ground for 11 miles. The third began a mile southwest of Nemaha and headed toward Newell. The fourth confirmed twister also started near Nemaha and was on the ground for 12 miles, ending at Buena Vista.

The twisters damaged several homes but no major injuries were reported.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa governor has declared a disaster emergency in Pocahontas County in the wake of a weekend storm.

Gov. Terry Branstad's office says a tornado touched down in Varina Saturday evening. The disaster proclamation will allow state resource to be used in cleanup efforts.

The National Weather Service has not yet confirmed the tornado. It has confirmed four tornadoes in Sac County, in addition to one that ravaged the town of Mapleton in Monona County.

The service says it will continue to assess storm damage on Monday

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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