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Tornadoes Ravage Midwest Killing 5 People And Nearly Destroying Thurman, Iowa [Video]

CRESTON, IA - APRIL 15: Two people survey damage following a tornado as residents begin the cleanup process April 15, 2012 in Creston, Iowa. Parts of the northern edge of Creston were affected by strong winds and tornados including damage to the Greater Regional Medical Center. The storms were part of a massive system that affected areas from Northern Nebraska and Iowa south through Oklahoma. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Just as predicted, the weather got rough in the heart of America last night. From Kansas to Nebraska to the utmost devastation in Iowa and Oklahoma, no one was spared from mother nature’s wrath, including a hospital, a jail and an Air Force base.

By dawn Sunday morning, the National Weather Service had received reports of 97 tornadoes touching down across the heartland of the country. In Woodward, Oklahoma, 5 people, including two children, were killed when violent storms roared into town at 12:18 am Sunday morning.

McConnell Air Force Base and the Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing plants took the brunt of the damage from an apparent tornado in Wichita, Kansas. A mobile home park was hit hard as well. Authorities there are grateful no one was killed or seriously injured. Its estimated the damage there already totals $283 million.

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Forecasters say this early start to the tornado season could mean a particularly violent pattern of storms will develop.

In Thurman, Iowa, authorities say at least 75% of the town is gone, ripped to shreds when a violent tornado touched down. The tiny town of 200 may be destroyed, but the only one person was injured.

The damage was much less extensive in Nebraska. A barn roof was lifted off there and buildings were damaged.
 
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