(eTN) – Nearly 400 reports of violent storms ripped through the US Midwest and Southeast states last night. In Iowa state alone, 27 tornados were reported. According to one witness, the twisters just kept coming and kept getting larger. Officials have estimated that more than 60 percent of the town of Mapleton, Iowa, has been destroyed. The Iowa National Guard has barricaded the town that is completely without power, and residents have not yet been allowed back in. Shelters were set up overnight for the displaced. Fortunately, none of the 1,200 residents of Mapleton were seriously injured.
Along with Iowa, the severe weather system affected the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
In North Carolina, several people were struck by lightning, sending them to the hospital. There was a dog show taking place in North Carolina at the time the lightning storm struck, where it is believed one dog was killed.
A pair of tornados hit the town of Pulaski in Virginia, uprooting trees and causing damage to over 400 homes. Of the 10,000 residents, 8 were hospitalized. Initial estimates to the residences put the damage at around US$8 million, including homes in the nearby Draper area. An additional estimated $500,000 in damage occurred to nonresidential building in Pulaski.
Oklahoma witnessed hail that was nearly the size of baseballs.