Tornado causes damage near Tim Heller's hometown

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1 injured after tornado hit in Prairieburg, Iowa (KTRK)

Seconds before I went on the air at 6:45 p.m., I got a weather alert indicating a "large tornado" was on the ground and moving toward my hometown of Prairieburg, Iowa.

I knew the National Weather Service wouldn't use that kind of description unless they knew for sure. I quickly glanced at the radar. The Doppler velocity winds showed the storm right over my little town of 179 people -- not good.

As soon as I got off the air I tried to call my mom, but there was no answer. I tried again. Nothing. While pacing back and forth in the hallway she called me. She was hysterical, but safe and alive. My mom said it sounded like "bowling balls were being thrown at the house." That's the most unusual description I've ever heard to describe a tornado, but I immediately understood.

Tom Kluesner, who lives a block away from my mom, took a picture of the tornado just before it hit Prairieburg. It knocked out a lot of trees and took out a few buildings. At least one person was injured.
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1 injured after tornado hit in Prairieburg, Iowa

It was a tornado that sparked my interest in weather. I was 10 years old when a large EF-4 tornado tore across the Iowa landscape and nearly wiped out the town of Ryan, just north of Prairieburg.

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