Muscatine and Fruitland
Being on the Mississippi River, Muscatine County offers a significant number of stories about flooding, but the county’s location in southeastern Iowa also has given it multiple experiences with tornadoes. In the twenty-first century, the worst of these—at least until 2017—was on June 1, 2007.
The tornado that day was the strongest ever to hit the cities of Muscatine and Fruitland. Winds circulated at 140 miles per hour and the path of the tornado on the ground extended ¼ of a mile.
In Fruitland there were two injuries. Walls collapsed or roofs were torn off of ten homes. Thirty homes sustained other roof damage. The storm destroyed the post office and Fruitland’s City Hall.
In Muscatine, on the city’s south side, power poles snapped and trees were uprooted. The cinder block walls of a factory collapsed and the roof was torn off.
Since 2007 the county has witnessed other tornadoes. Though not as powerful as the 2007 tornado, one in June 2013 nonetheless resulted in one fatality. Another tornado in March of 2017 was as powerful as the 2007 storm but damaged a smaller area.
Meteorologist David Cousins of the National Weather Service told Muscatine Journal reporter Sarah Ritter in 2017 that the weather service was seeing perhaps a modest increase in the number of smaller tornadoes in eastern Iowa since 2013 but that the number of stronger tornadoes was largely unchanged since the 1990s.
Source: on-line: Sarah Ritter, “10 years later 2007 tornado remains strongest to ever hit Muscatine area,” Muscatine Journal, May 31, 2017.