If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed me sharing the destruction in Central Iowa after 27 tornadoes hit the area Thursday afternoon. I grew up just a few miles outside of Marshalltown, which saw catastrophic damage Thursday evening.
This storm tore through the downtown area, traveling down Main Street, tearing apart historic buildings; like the courthouse in the heart of the city.
Growing up, families like my own stopped outside the courthouse to watch the Christmas lights dance to music on the radio, or ride horse-drawn carriages around the square.
Surrounding the courthouse several, locally owned businesses are also destroyed. This includes a personal favorite; the long-standing sandwich shop Sub City.
Just a few blocks from the main square is the Orpheum movie theatre. The lobby and coffee shop areas have significant damage. This is where my husband and I had our wedding reception.
Just to the east of the downtown square is the manufacturing plant Lennox; which is one of the largest employers in Marshalltown. Much of that facility looks to be a total loss. Right across the street from Lennox is a machine shop my grandfather and his father owned for several decades.
And not far away, at Unity Point Hospital, where I was born, 43 patients were moved to other hospitals across the state.
Thankfully for my family and many others who faced this storm, no serious injuries or deaths have been reported.
So far, the National Weather Service says it can confirm five tornadoes touched down. However, crews also say it will take days to determine the strength and total number of the twisters. The storms injured at least 17 people.