PELLA — Surveyors from the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado briefly touched down near Pella on Sunday evening.
According to a public information statement from the service, the twister was on the ground for approximately four minutes. It touched down just northeast of the 195th Avenue and Highway 163 intersection. It then moved east-southeast for about 1.5 miles, lifting near 210th Avenue. The maximum width of the tornado was 150 yards.
Damage to trees and some structural damage to buildings were found, including some shingle and siding damage to residences. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
The same storm later produced enough radar-indicated rotation to prompt a tornado warning in Mahaska County. That warning was allowed to expire with no tornadoes spotted.
On the Enhanced Fujita Scale, tornadoes are rated based on wind speeds. The EF-1 category is for tornadoes between 86 and 110 mph and is considered a weak tornado. The scale goes up to five, which is a violent tornado with winds above 200 mph.
Pella's industrial park, namely Vermeer Manufacturing, was in the bullseye of an EF-3 tornado on July 19, 2018. An EF-3 tornado means winds between 136 and 165 mph.
Vermeer completed its rebuild of the tornado impacted areas in December when the newly built Plant 7 produced its first machine.
Another tornado was reported in eastern Iowa near the small town of Bernard. An EF-1 rated twister caused damage to trees and farm outbuildings after touching down for about six minutes shortly after 8 p.m.
In other areas of the midwest, a tornado swept through suburban Chicago on Sunday night, damaging more than 100 homes, toppling trees, knocking out power and causing at least eight people to be hospitalized, the Associated Press reported.
Survey teams from the National Weather Service Chicago office were still assessing the damage as of Monday afternoon.