Six Madison County residents were killed, Madison County Emergency Management Director Diogenes Ayala said. The oldest victim was 72 and the youngest was 2, Ayala told a Winterset news conference on Sunday afternoon. He had said earlier that there were two victims under the age of 5.
A person in a rural area near the Lucas County town of Chariton was also killed, an official said.
The NWS said Sunday that the Winterset tornado was one of at least two EF3 tornadoes to hit Iowa on Saturday. Damage surveys from NWS offices in Des Moines and Quad Cities suggested another EF3 with estimated winds of 138 mph was responsible for the damage near Chariton, he said.
This tornado was on the ground for 16 and a half miles.
Additionally, an EF2 tornado with estimated winds of 122 mph occurred near Leon, which was on the ground for 19 miles.
An EF1 tornado with 110 mph winds occurred in Vinton, another with 100 mph winds hit West Lake Park and an EF-0 tornado also touched down West Lake Park with 65 mph winds, according to the NWS.
Ayala said the Winterset tornado damaged or destroyed about 52 homes in Madison County over a distance of 22 km and the wind speed at one point reached 250 km/h.
Six people in the county are still being treated for injuries sustained in the tornado, officials said. Ayala previously said one adult had life-threatening injuries and three others were hospitalized in serious condition.
“This is, I think, the worst anyone has seen in a long time,” Ayala said Sunday morning.
The tornado, which ripped through several counties near Des Moines, also left one adult with life-threatening injuries and three others hospitalized in serious condition, Ayala said.
Mike Lamb, emergency management coordinator for Lucas, Appanoose, Davis and Monroe counties, said in addition to one person killed near Chariton, several people were also injured.
The tornado caused damage to multiple homes, buildings, power lines and vegetation, Lamb said in a news release Sunday morning.
Two people were injured in Polk County, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.
The inclement weather caused “damage to multiple homes, power lines and trees,” the sheriff’s office said. First responders were in the area to assess damage and assist residents.
“Down power lines, standing water and debris blocking roads create dangerous travel conditions in this area and we are asking for the public’s assistance in staying away from the area and allowing these agencies to work. unimpeded,” the sheriff’s office warned in the post.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Madison County, saying she and her husband are praying for the lives claimed and injured in the tornado.
The proclamation allows state resources to be used for response and recovery efforts in Madison County, according to the press release. Other counties may be added to the proclamation.
Reynolds, who spent the morning visiting affected communities, told reporters Sunday afternoon that she had seen hundreds of volunteers helping their neighbors.
She said she spoke earlier Sunday with the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Alejandro Mayorkas, who offered federal assistance as needed.
A tornado watch is now in effect for western and northern Arkansas, southeast Oklahoma and southern Missouri through 8 p.m. CST, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
The center says tornadoes are likely, some of them intense, as well as storms containing hail larger than golf balls and damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph in the watch area, said CNN meteorologist Gene Norman. Thunderstorms are expected to develop Sunday afternoon and evening.
CNN’s Jennifer Feldman, Allison Chinchar, Hannah Sarisohn, Aya Elamroussi, Joe Sutton, Gene Norman and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.