EF4 that razed Greenfield, killing 4, was strongest tornado in a year

At least four people were killed and 35 injured by an EF4 tornado that plowed through the center of Greenfield, Iowa, on Tuesday. Peak winds of 185 mph were estimated by the National Weather Service after extensive damage surveys were conducted, but those numbers could still change.

It was the strongest tornado to hit the United States since the EF4 tornado that hit Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on Mar. 24, 2023, with winds of 195 mph.

Tuesday's twister was more than a half-mile wide at one point and tracked for at least 44 miles, from 3 miles south-southeast of Villisca in Page County to 4 miles east-northeast of Greenfield in Adair County.

"It's horrific," Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds told CNN Wednesday. "It's hard to describe until you can actually see the devastation."

"It's gonna be a lot of years before this town gets back to normal," one tornado survivor recalled as he walked around the debris.

At least 200 homes were destroyed by storms in Iowa this week, Reynolds said, after expanding the state's disaster declaration from 15 to 32 counties. Several wind turbines were knocked down by a tornado outside of the town of Greenfield.

On Friday morning, a derecho moving through Iowa caused additional damage, with winds as high as 75 mph estimated in Greenfield.