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Twisters Tear Into Iowa, Killing 1

Thousands lose power after high winds and hail topple trees. University is hit hard.

April 14, 2006|From the Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Severe storms ripped through eastern Iowa Thursday night, spawning tornadoes that crushed homes and cars and killed one person.

The National Weather Service said the fatality occurred in Muscatine County, where a tornado toppled the victim's mobile home in Nichols. The victim's name was not released.

Twisters, high winds and hail toppled trees and cut off power to thousands across the region. No other injuries were immediately reported.

One tornado swept across the University of Iowa, damaging apartments, fraternity houses and sorority houses.

Residents sifted through debris downtown and in several neighborhoods. "We're in disaster mode," an Iowa City police dispatcher said.

University spokesman Steve Parrott said classes were canceled for today while crews repair the campus.

Downtown, severe winds blew cars around, and a roof collapsed at a pedestrian mall, police said.

The weather service reported tornadoes in Tama, Linn, Muscatine and Johnson counties, with much of the damage occurring in Iowa City.

The storms also hit northern Illinois, knocking down trees and power lines and prompting tornado warnings. At least one tornado was spotted on the ground in Mercer County, the weather service said. The roofs of two homes were heavily damaged, authorities said.

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