Tornado touches down in Iowa during severe weather

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OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - At least one tornado touched down in the southwest corner of Iowa on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down just after 4 p.m. Wednesday near Shenandoah, Iowa, as severe thunderstorms rolled through that area.

Roofs were ripped from two homes in rural Fremont County, said Tim Bothwell, Fremont County Sheriff. No one was injured, he said, but one of the homes was a total loss, and the second home — made of brick — was badly damaged, he said.

Bothwell said he drove through a storm containing pea- to quarter-sized hail, and saw lots of debris and trees down in the area.

The Red Cross is also in the area to assess relief needs.

Power outages were reported in the area, and deputies were directing traffic to help drivers avoid damage.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for most of Iowa, in effect until 10 p.m. The weather service says strong to severe thunderstorms are expected for the area, bringing large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain.

Fremont County Emergency Management Director Mike Crecelius says the tornado hit a rural area east of Sidney on Wednesday afternoon. Crecelius says no injuries have been reported.

North central Nemaha and southeastern Otoe counties and Fremont County in Iowa were in a severe thunderstorm warning until 5 p.m. Wednesday, NWS reported. Golf-ball sized hail and winds up to 60 mph were reported.

Just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, the NWS Des Moines office issued a tornado warning, effective until 4:45 p.m., for areas of central and south-central Iowa. At 4:08 p.m., weather spotters saw a tornado moving east at about 35 mph was confirmed near Stuart, Iowa, and Greenfield, Iowa, NWS reported