Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Tornado
-- Scale F2
-- Length 4.5 Miles
-- Width 587 Yards
State IOWA
County/Area JOHNSON
NCDC Data Source PDS
Begin Date 2006-04-13 19:29:00.0 CST
Begin Lat/Lon 41.66667/-91.55
End Date 2006-04-13 19:37:00.0 CST
End Location IOWA CITY
End Lat/Lon 41.66667/-91.55
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 30/0
Property Damage 12M
Crop Damage
Episode Narrative Tornado developed at the intersection of highways 1 & 218 on the southwest side of Iowa City at 1929 CST and tracked northeast through the city before lifting just northeast of the intersection of 1st Avenue & Hickory Trail at 1937 CST. This path took it through the southeast corner of the University of Iowa campus. This was the first tornado to hit near the campus in 35 years and the University was closed on Friday April 14th for safety reasons.

The KIOW ASOS at the airport on the southwest side of the city recorded a peak wind gust of 49 knots (57 mph) at 1931 CST. This gust was likely the result of the rear flank downdraft as the tornado neared the intersection of U.S. 6 and highway 1 northeast of the airport. Hard times for the location of the tornado are 1930 CST at the Wal-Mart. At 1932-1933 CST power was lost at the Johnson County Sheriff Office with telephone lines, LAN, and automated systems going down as the tornado passed over the building. While the tornado was passing over the sheriff's office, someone flipped the outdoor warning sirens from automatic to manual override and activated the sirens one final time.

Damage totals are still being evaluated and the $12 million amount will likely be closer to $15 million or possibly higher. Known damage amounts include; Iowa City and Johnson County $4 million with an additional $755,000 of uninsured loses (traffic lights, signs, street lights), University of Iowa $6 million with the motor pool headquarters a total loss and 31 vehicles damaged, and $1.3 million in damage to residences/businesses. Three automobile dealerships were damaged; one dealership had 200 vehicles damaged, a second had 60-70 vehicles damaged, and a third had nearly every vehicle sustaining some type of damage.

A total of 1,016 residential and 35 commercial buildings were damaged with some destroyed. Some well known landmark buildings known to citizens, college students, and alumni were lost or heavily damaged. These included the Dairy Queen (lost) and St. Patrick's Church (heavily damaged). Several historic buildings were damaged downtown and it is unknown whether or not they can or will be saved. The tornado damaged the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house and damaged many student apartments located just off the campus on Iowa, Dodge, and Governor streets.

Given the strength and width of the tornado it is amazing that only 30 injuries (many minor) occurred. Many U of I students were unaware of what was happening or dashed to a nearby parking garage for safety with the tornado approaching a few blocks behind them. Several foreign exchange students, many of whom had never seen, experienced, or heard of a tornado, were in awe and disbelief over the magnitude of the event. At St. Patrick's Church, the Maundy Thursday evening service had just ended. Upon being told of an approaching tornado by Decon Jerome Miller, the Reverend Rudolph Juarez ushered 50 to 75 parishioners (many elderly) to the safety of the rectory basement next door. This action saved the lives of everyone as the tornado tore off the roof off the church and collapsed the top portion of the brick facade and the steeple into the main congregation area.
Event Narrative Rated very high F2 with winds estimated at 155 mph.


All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 30 12.000M 0.00K
IOWA CITY JOHNSON CO. IA 04/13/2006 19:29 CST Tornado F2 0 30 12.000M 0.00K
Totals: 0 30 12.000M 0.00K