Man injured in Minden tornado has died, officials assess damage from multiple tornadoes

MINDEN — A man who was injured when a tornado struck Minden on Friday has died. 

Officials say about 50 homes in the western Iowa community of Minden were destroyed by Friday’s tornado and dozens more were damaged. First responders found an unconscious man in the aftermath and Pottawattamie County officials confirm he has died of his injuries. The National Weather Service office in metro Des Moines says at least 10 tornadoes touched down in central Iowa Friday. The Weather Service office in Omaha will released its report on Friday’s tornadoes in western Iowa later today.

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Sixteen-year-old Avery Assmann  of Minden says her family and four dogs were in the basement when the tornado struck. She says her home is still standing, but others weren’t as fortunate. “There’s a lot of trees down. A lot of people’s houses are down. A lot of people’s siding is gone, but the house isn’t gone. There are two houses that came off their foundation, so, they’re just like in people’s yards,” she said, “but it’s very scary to see the town like that.”

Assman was at the Neola Area Community Center Sunday, where a distribution center has been set up for tornado victims. JoDee Junkman is the center’s director and she says donations are coming from as far away as Des Moines and from Omaha, which took a hit from a tornado, too. “It’s amazing. It just makes you feel good,” she said. “We’ve had some families come in to go through donations, and they’re almost in tears because of everything that’s here that they can use.”

Governor Reynolds toured Minden Saturday and said it appears 40 percent of the homes and businesses in the community have been damaged or destroyed. As of Sunday afternoon, all roads into Minden were still closed to the public and volunteers while crews worked to restore power to the town.

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In Union County, the tornado that caused damage in Creston reached speeds of 125 miles an hour. Two other twisters were reported in Union County, west of Afton. A tornado in Ringgold County stayed on the ground for 27 miles, with damage reported in Tingley and Redding. The tornado in Clarke County that caused damage in and around Osceola reached speeds of 135 miles an hour. The Shelby County Board of Supervisors has declared a state of emergency in their county, where about 60 homes in rural areas were damaged or destroyed. There was significant damage between Harlan and the small community of Portsmouth. The Shelby County Golf Course north of Harlan was significantly damaged. Late Friday night a tornado hit Pleasant Hill, a suburb on the eastern side of the Des Moines metro.