Why No Sirens Before Maquoketa Tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Why No Sirens Before Maquoketa Tornado

MAQUOKETA (KWWL) -- As clean-up continues, those hit by Saturday evening's tornado wonder why they got no warning.

It's a night people living on and near Pershing Road in Maquoketa will likely never forget. It's also one they never saw coming.

"It felt like my house was falling down," Megan Balliu said, a resident at one of the mobile home parks hit by the twister.

Tom Marlowe, who lives in the same park, said, "it was all done and over with before the sirens went off."

Maquoketa chief of police Brad Koranda said there was nothing more the city could have done.

"When we go under a watch, we start the process, you know, by paging fire departments...warning service we have in place throughout the county," Granada said, of Maquoketa's severe weather policy. "The National Weather Service did put a watch out at 3:50 til 8:50 [Saturday], but Jackson county was not part of that watch. Jones County and Clinton County were, but Jackson was not, so we didn't even do the initial notification."

The Quad City division of the National Weather Service (NWS) placed 29 of its 36 counties under a tornado watch Saturday afternoon. Jackson County was one of the remaining seven not included.

"This storm, with the exception of this tornado, there were no reports of severe weather with it," NWS warning coordination meteorologist Donna Dubberke said. "This storm was sort of garden variety, except for this little spin-up it was able to do."

According to Dubberke, Maquoketa's tornado appeared on the radar with no time for a warning.

"This particular storm was going through an evolution, and the rotation developed within a minute of it touching down," Dubberke said.

The NWS gave the Maquoketa tornado an EF1 rating and estimated its wind speed at 105 mph. Read this KWWL story for more information on the damage, or check out the official NWS storm report.

Dubberke said tornado season starts at the end of April and stretches through mid-June.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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