Benton County residents, including those who live in Vinton, took shelter on Saturday evening as a series of thunderstorms, accompanied by tornado warnings.
Flash flood watches are also in effect in Benton, Buchanan and other counties. No significant damage has been reported at this time.
The National Weather Service issued two thunderstorm warnings and one tornado warning after 9 p.m. At around 9:15, it issued one for Buchanan and northern Benton Counties.
The tornado warning was for SE Benton County and north central Iowa County expired at 9:30 p.m.
Then at around 9:30 p.m., the NWS issued the following warning for Benton County:
At 926 PM CDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near Shellsburg to near Norway, moving east at 25 mph. HAZARD...70 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail. SOURCE...Trained weather spotters. IMPACT...Hail damage to vehicles is expected. Expect considerable tree damage. Wind damage is also likely to mobile homes, roofs, and outbuildings. Locations impacted include... Cedar Rapids, Vinton, Marion, Hiawatha, Mount Vernon, Robins, Center Point, Lisbon, Fairfax, Ely, Atkins, Walford, Central City, Springville, Palo, Shellsburg, Newhall, Blairstown, Van Horne and Alburnett. This includes Interstate 380 between mile markers 12 and 37. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Prepare immediately for large hail and damaging winds. People outside should move to a shelter, inside a strong building and away from windows. To report severe weather contact your nearest law enforcement agency. They will send your report to the National Weather Service office in the Quad Cities. Continuous cloud to ground lightning is occurring with these storms. Move indoors immediately. Lightning is one of nature`s leading killers. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Torrential rainfall is occurring with these storms, and may lead to flash flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.