Washington County family avoids tornado close call - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Washington County family avoids tornado close call


Thursday night the Nelson family of rural Washington County avoided disaster by mere seconds.

"As I turned around and got to her doorway, her windows blew out," Corrine Nelson said. 

Corrine, a mother of three and pregnant with her fourth, grabbed her two-year-old daughter Mackenzie from the top floor just before the roof was ripped off.

"We cuddled up in the corner in the kitchen, while my husband was trying to get the door open," Corrine said. 

The family was trapped for 30 minutes inside during the worst of the storm.  Now they are one of two families without a home.

"It was just a nightmare," Corrine said.

The National Weather Service says the high-end EF-2 tornado formed just south of Wayland Thursday night. 

130 mile an hour winds ripped through multiple properties on the edge of town littering fields with trails of debris.  Two turkey farms and a landscaping business were among the worst damaged.

"We felt the pressure change.  We hovered around on the basement floor in a circle, the kids and my husband and I praying, and as fast as it came, it was over," said Kim Egli, whose husband owns Egli Landscaping on the edge of Wayland.

In the aftermath of the storm, it's the community's strength shining front and center.  Students came by the bus load, including 260 students from Waco junior and senior high school to help with the cleanup.

"It happens to good people, and it's just nice to be able to come and help everybody out," said Tympest Crawford, a Waco student volunteering her time to cleanup efforts Friday. 

While many property owners are facing a massive cleanup, the important thing for families like the Nelson's is there was no loss of life.

"I got everybody out of the house and we got off of this road, that's all I cared about.  I knew everybody was safe," Corrine said.

Nobody was injured during the storm.

The National Weather service says the path of destruction was one-fourth mile wide and four miles long.

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