From the National Weather Service: A damage survey team confirmed an EF0 tornado 3.5 miles southeast of Belle Plaine yesterday, July 15th at 7:04pm.

Max winds: 80 mph, Max width: 100 yards, Path length: 500 yards.


Keith and Dawn Buszmann’s daughter, Jessica, had just returned home from work when tornado sirens began sounding, making themselves barely audible from the family’s century farm outside of Belle Plaine Monday evening, July 15.

Conditions were rainy, but Keith stated he did not notice any dramatic wind. The trouble actualized when Dawn spotted what she described as a tornado in the sky.

“I heard a rush of wind, and I looked up and I could see swirling and debris in the sky, and I just said, ‘Get in the basement now!’”

So the family, including a second child, Jeremy, rushed to the basement at around 7:15 p.m. as the sky grew black.

“We all met at the basement steps, and we were down there in no time,” Keith said amid a swath of wreckage caused by the storm.

The storm seemed to pass almost as soon as it began, Keith said, but it left behind vast destruction to the family’s property.

Sheet metal pulled from roofs extended to the road, Union Hill Boulevard, which lies at least two football fields away from the nearest building on the property. Wood, both relatively fresh and aged, comingled with sections of electric wiring and a cordless drill charger. The roof of a building housing beef cows was pulled back like a sardine can, but the cows inside were untouched.

“It’s just a blessing,” Keith said.

Perhaps due to a small grove of trees that encircles the structure, the family’s home was untouched by the wreckage.

As of Tuesday morning, July 16, the family was waiting on an insurance adjuster to assess the damage.

For now the family is working to clean the debris that peppers most visible spots on the house and out building lot and much of a bean field adjacent to Union Hill Boulevard.

Keith grew emotional when he mentioned the kind act of someone bringing the family food.

“That’s the first time I broke down,” Keith said. He then shifted his focus back to the debris in his proximity.

“The cleanup - that’s what’s ahead,” he said.

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