Severe Weather Spawns Tornadoes, ‘100-Year Flood’ in Midwest

March 30, 2020

A severe weather system tore through the Midwest over the weekend, bringing damaging high winds, tornadoes and flooding.

Authorities say severe weather in Ohio spawned what forecasters are calling a “100-year flood” in Cleveland, Ohio.

In Iowa, storms damaged an apartment building in northeast Iowa and knocked down power lines.

A tornado touched down late Saturday in northern Illinois damaging homes and uprooting trees, weather officials confirmed.

Cleveland firefighters say a man was rescued from the basement of an apartment building on the city’s East Side. WOIO-TV reports that the man called 911 saying the water was up to his chest. Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo told the station that firefighters broke a window and bent steel bars on the windows to get him out. One firefighter had a minor injury and 10 people were displaced.

Cleveland police say emergency medical personnel took an officer and sergeant to a hospital Saturday night for treatment of exposure after they entered frigid water to aid civilians.

The National Weather Service says the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland is currently at the seventh-highest level recorded. Forecasters say it’s considered a Federal Emergency Management Agency a 1-percent flood “commonly known as a 100-year flood.”

A tornado that was spotted in Oelwein, Iowa, tore off part of the wall of a 12-unit apartment building and damaged the siding of a second building in the complex. Oelwein police said no serious injuries were reported.

Lonnie Robbins said he watched the storm moving in before retreating to the bathroom of his ground floor apartment in the complex.

“I heard something go whoosh, and I even felt it,” Robbins told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “It ripped the hallway wall off, smacked that into my apartment, and when it did that, it knocked a hole in my apartment.”

Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher said the storm knocked down branches and some power lines elsewhere in Oelwein and in rural parts of the county.

Residents of the apartment complex whose homes were damaged sought shelter in a nearby hotel. Resident Jonathan Reinert said the storm damage leaves him without a place to stay during the coronavirus outbreak. Emergency crews wore surgical masks as they responded to the storm damage because of the virus.

“I got no shelter in place now,” Reinert said.

A tornado touched down late Saturday in northern Illinois damaging homes and uprooting trees. The tornado touched down in Ogle County just outside Oregon around 9 p.m. on Saturday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Izzi. It was on the ground for roughly 10 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

One home appeared to have lost its roof and windows, officials said. Survey teams planned to assess the damage Sunday.

Reports of possible tornadoes Saturday also cropped up in Peoria County, where there were power outages, and Henry County.

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