The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tornado warning for eastern Marshall and southwestern Tama counties Thursday afternoon.
Several people have been injured and transported to a hospital, Lt. Shane Cox of the Pella Police Department told ABC. Families have been displaced by the destruction, which spreads across multiple counties.
One video from Bondurant shows a tornado ripping through a home and causing small explosions as it hits power lines. "Houses are being torn to shreds in Bondurant," local T.J. Philips says. He tells his wife to "go get our son" as debris whirl through the air.
— We Are Iowa Local 5 (@weareiowa5news) July 19, 2018
— Tornado Trackers (@tornadotrackers) July 19, 2018
— Stefanie the First of Her Name Queen of twitte®👑 (@jbelcap) July 19, 2018
Multiple funnel clouds have been spotted in the state, with one tornado touching down in Bondurant, just 10 miles from the capital Des Moines. Power outages have been reported and at least one town has declared a state of emergency.
— Bruce Rempe (@bkr392) July 19, 2018
— Denice Pelster (@DenicePelster) July 19, 2018
— Bryon Houlgrave (@bryonhoulgrave) July 19, 2018
KCCI News, the most-watched news station in central Iowa, where the storms are ravaging, reports "cars are toppled on each other like toys" alongside video showing massive destruction.
— Tommie Clark (@TommieClarkKCCI) July 19, 2018
In Marshalltown, where a state of emergency is in effect, officials have asked residents to stay off of their cell phones "to allow for emergency phone traffic." Nearly 6,700 homes and businesses have lost electricity, according to Alliant Energy.
In Pella, local police lieutenant Shane Cox said that one tornado hit the Vemeer Manufacturing factory while some people were working. They have been taken to the hospital.
"There has been major damage to multiple facilities. Our efforts, along with emergency services, are focused on ensuring those on our property during the event are safe and cared for," the company posted on Facebook.
Hours after the carnage, rescue operations remain underway. The number and extent of the injuries is still unknown, according to a company representative.
Marshalltown, Pella, and Bondurant were hit the hardest.