Tornado Hits Plymouth County

(Le Mars) — The sound of chainsaws could be heard at the Sam and Jen Pratt home this morning after last evening when a tornado had hit their homestead at about 6:45 p.m.  The Pratts reside at the intersection of County Roads C-38 and K-22.  The family was home at the time during the tornado strike.  Sam says he was watching the storm approach his home.

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Jen, his wife, was inside the house with their children when the storm hit.

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Jen Pratt describes the destruction following the tornado.

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Jen Pratt says the shed was storing the family’s boat, tractor, and a car. She says she was amazed those items remained in place, undisturbed, but the shed was totally destroyed.  Fortunately, for the Pratts the tornado did not hit their house, having missed it by only a few feet.  Sam tells where he found his shed after the storm.

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Across the road Scott Fuerhelm,  had a grain bin collapse and another grain bin  damaged, along with an auger that had been toppled. 

Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says a tornado was spotted and touched down in the southwest portion of the county.  Storm damage extended from an area south of Brunsville, or about 4 miles west of Le Mars south to North Loop Road, about five miles north of Sioux City.  Several storm spotters had seen rotation in the clouds, but fortunately many of those would-be tornadoes did not reach the ground.  Sirens were sounded for Le Mars residents to take cover shortly before 7:00 p.m.  The sheriff’s office is reporting ten instances of moderate to severe structure damage reports that includes everything from powerlines down to trees toppled, to in some instances buildings and structures that have been damaged.  There were no report of injuries.  Deputies and volunteer fire fighters went door to door after the storm to check on the welfare of all residents.  The Le Mars Bulldog football game was delayed for an hour due to the storm.  People were moved to the Le Mars Middle School for safety.  Plymouth County Emergency Management Coordinator Gary Junge is assessing the area for additional damage.