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"There Just Went a House!" Catastrophic Twisters Rip Through Iowa, Surprising Even Forecasters

Jennifer Wishon : Jul 20, 2018 : CBN News

As the twisters touched down, Vermeer Corporation—a farm equipment manufacturer—was hosting nearly 500 people for a customer appreciation day.

(Pella, IA)—[CBN News] A massive cleanup begins Friday in central Iowa where people are thankful to be alive after a series of tornadoes tore through the state Thursday without warning, surprising even weather forecasters. (Screengrab of video by Tanner Ulrich/via CBN News)

Perfect funnel clouds were caught on camera by some residents who watched as the spiral winds ripped through their neighbors' homes in Bondurant.

Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant were hardest hit.

"Oh my God, honey, get inside! There just went a house," screamed one man to his wife as he recorded the destruction on his phone.

A family in Marshalltown hunkered down in the basement of their business and listened to cracks, booms and explosions as the twister roared above them.

And in Pella, a tornado bounced around the Vermeer Corporation campus like a pinball game.

"We saw the whole thing. We were kinda storm chasing," recalled Elise Beukelman, a local resident.

"We saw the tornado jump down and it hit Plant Three and it looked like it bounced over Four. And then hit Five, Six, Seven and then the Global Pavilion. We saw the electric lights go and all the debris," she said.

As the twisters touched down, the farm equipment manufacturer was hosting nearly 500 people for a customer appreciation day.

Alarms sounded as employees hurried people into shelters.

"Pastor Kevin Korver was here immediately. I appreciate him being here," said Vermeer President and CEO Jason Andringa as he fought back tears.

"So yeah, we are certainly going to rebuild and we are going to come back stronger than ever," Andringa said about his family business.

At least 17 people were injured and a small hospital had to be evacuated, but residents are feeling thankful no lives were claimed.







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