Mike Bolger Winterset Iowa tornado leads to 4 family members killed during 155mph winds; Father, two toddler siblings and grandmother perish along with 3 others.
A weekend tornado in Iowa has led to the deaths of up to seven individuals, including the deaths of 4 family members on Saturday – leaving a young boy without his father, sister or toddler brother along with their grandmother – all who perished during the strong winds which had reached up to 155 mph.
Dramatic footage showed homes being ripped apart as the deadly tornado hit Madison County, southwest of Des Moines on Saturday. The tornado was estimated traveling at 136 to 155 miles per hour leaving a 13.7 mile path of destruction according to ABCNews.
The wild weather left a path of destruction in Winterset in central Iowa, tearing through multiple homes along with knocking down trees and power lines Iowa’s Local 5 News reported.
Mike Bolger, 37, a father of three perished in the storm along with his two-year-old son, Owen and his five-year-old daughter, Kenley.
Mr Bolger’s oldest son, Brysen, survived, while the children’s mother, Kuri, suffered serious injuries KCRG reported.
Visiting Colorado family bears brunt of tragedy
Kuri’s mom Melissa Bazley, 63, also died when the tornado passed through her home – but Melissa’s husband and adult son survived.
Rodney Clark, 64 and Cecilia Lloyd, 72, two neighbors died when their homes were hit by the storm according to WHO-TV.
In Lucas County, about 55 miles southeast of Des Moines, officials confirmed one death and multiple reported injuries when a separate tornado struck less than an hour later.
The person who died was in an RV at a campground at Red Haw State Park in Chariton, Iowa.
The Bolgers were visiting family from Blue Springs, Missouri.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the family’s funeral expenses and hospital bills.
‘All funds will go directly to Kuri for hospital bills, ongoing expenses and provide proper celebrations of life for the family,’ read the post on the GoFundMe.
Deadliest storms since 2008
As of Monday morning, over $200,000 has been raised.
The storm was classified as an EF3 tornado with winds of 136-155 miles per hour leaving a 13.7 mile path of destruction.
‘This is, I think, the worst anyone has seen in quite a long time,’ said Diogenes Ayala, Madison County Emergency Management Director.
Officials estimated 25-30 homes being destroyed during weekend high winds.
The storms are the deadliest to occur in Iowa since May 2008 when one tornado destroyed nearly 300 homes and killed nine people in the northern Iowa city of Parkersburg.