Tornado Time Near Home!

Funnel cloud 10 minutes from home…

Hello and welcome to the blog today.   It’s been an exciting night.  I had planned on doing some camping this evening but decided to hold off… It was  a wise decision!

Earlier this evening I visited some friends at a restaurant in Oxford Junction, Iowa (20 miles east-southeast from home).  The diner is located on the southwest corner of town.  During our visit, I decided to head home and do a little yard work.  Several hours later a tornado touched down in Oxford Junction near that very restaurant!  The twister did some damage nearby but as far as I know, not to the friends’ establishment.

The Prairieburg tornado as taken by an unidentfied local resident


After returning home from Oxford Junction one could tell the atmosphere was primed for dangerous weather.  I took Jenny for a quick walk on her leash as the lightning cracked.  A friend walking his dog mentioned that a large tornado had just hit Prairieburg – a small town a dozen miles northwest of home.  I have friends who live there.

Dissipating tornadic storm near Cascade, Iowa


I hopped in the car and headed out, hoping to catch sight of the storm as it passed to the north.  Most tornadoes are (but not always) on the southwest corner of the storm cell.  I did not get to see the full tornado as it had partially dissipated after striking the town but it was still possible to get some good views.  I followed the storm as it headed east-northeast through neighboring Monticello and Cascade.  There were numerous broken tree limbs and even a car that had apparently been blown into the ditch.  The thunderstorm winds were clocked at around 70MPH and directly from the side.

Car in the ditch in the area where the worst of the storm had passed.

By this time I’d nearly reached the town of Dubuque.  Despite heavy rain, a bit of small hail, and high winds, it was a fun little drive as I listened to the severe weather coverage.  The radio said that tornadoes had also touched town farther north near Monona, Iowa in far northern Clayton County.  That is a few miles north of the trout hatchery and very near the tractor museum I’d visited last year… familiar stompin’ grounds.

On the way home I was able to snap some beautiful pictures.  After being visited by a tornado tonight, a double rainbow formed over Cascade.   It was worth seeing!

We were very fortunate in this area tonight.  One person was injured as her Prairieburg home collapsed.  But it could have been far worse.  The Linn County fair was in full swing and 800+ folks had to scramble for shelter as the large funnel approached.  They all made it to safety in time.  The county fair will be back in business tomorrow!

Thankfully, Anamosa was spared the brunt of the bad weather.  The storm had actually split along the highway by where I live.  The bad stuff went to the north and south.  All we got was a gentle rain … and a nice sunset.

Sunset near Monticello, Iowa

It’s getting late.  The thunderstorm tops in the picture eventually paid us a visit and added a little more rain for the corn crops.  Things are calm now.  If a person can put up with hot weather, arctic cold, blizzards, and tornadoes, Iowa’s a pretty decent place to live!

Thanks for visiting today.  I’m hoping to do some camping next week… as long as the weather is a little nicer!

Take care and thanks for stopping by.  Safe and happy travels.

Bradford and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa

Be careful where you hide, Jennifer… Or at least carry some water.


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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

6 Responses to Tornado Time Near Home!

  1. Pam in Louisiana says:

    Those are beautiful rainbow as well as other pictures you took. Glad hear that everything worked out well for most everyone around the area. I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I’ve been reading it for a pretty good while, and I enjoy it very much. Sweet little Jennifer you have there. We have seven fur babies!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Pam! Thanks for the note! Seven fur babies would be wonderful. Thank you for the compliment about Jennifer. She’s not so sweet right now. I just got home from work and she is giving some very unhappy cries as the sun is going down and I’m poking on the computer. Jenny likes her evening walks on the leash. 🙂 Hopefully this fall we can do a little more camping. Take care and thanks for reading, Pam!

  2. Jo says:

    WOW! that’s some scary weather. I love your rainbow pictures and the sunset is breathtaking. You be careful chasing those tornados.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. I’ve been doing it since being a teenager. A person has to be careful and trust one’s instincts. Like fishing, sometimes it’s the ones you don’t see! 🙂

  3. my_vantasy says:

    I think you being a storm chaser is exciting. Part of me would love to do that, but part of me was born to be mild. LOL. Sounds like Ohio and Iowa are pretty similar weather wise!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the note. It’s kind of a thrill seeking thing, I suppose. It’s still fun but you have to be pretty careful. I used to help the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club as a storm spotter. It’s fun. 🙂

      I’m working on the next camping trip idea for this week. HOpefully we will have better weather. 🙂