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Minnesota first responders deployed to Iowa communities impacted by deadly tornadoes

Communities devastated by tornadoes in Midwest are cleaning up; rebuilding
Communities devastated by tornadoes in Midwest are cleaning up, rebuilding 02:22

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A group of Minnesota first responders is heading to Iowa to help out areas devastated by deadly tornadoes earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team, or MN-AHIMT, will be assisting local first responders in the recovery efforts in the Greenfield area. 

Walz says he authorized the two-week mission after Iowa officials requested assistance via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. 

"In Minnesota, we're no strangers to the devastation of tornadoes," Walz said in a statement. "We know the heartbreak that accompanies the loss of homes and businesses and the necessity of working together to rebuild. In the wake of this storm, we are stepping up to support our neighbors. My heart goes out to the community of Greenfield as they recover."

Last Tuesday, four people were killed and dozens more were hurt when a powerful tornado carved a path of destruction through the small city of Greenfield, which is located in southwestern Iowa. Another victim, a female driver, was killed when her vehicle was blown off the road in Adams County. 

Tornadoes Cause Damage Across Iowa
An aerial view shows devastation left behind after a tornado tore through town yesterday afternoon on May 22, 2024 in Greenfield, Iowa. Multiple deaths and injuries have been reported from a series of tornadoes and powerful storms that hit several Midwestern states. Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for 15 counties across the state affected by severe weather. She called the situation "tragic" and "gut-wrenching."

According to Minnesota state officials, members of the MN-AHIMT are highly trained and skilled public safety professionals. 

"Upon arriving in Iowa, the emergency managers, firefighters, medical, law enforcement, and public works experts will support field operations and support with volunteer management, debris management, and the disaster declaration process," Walz' office said in a statement. 

Members of MN-AHIMT were deployed to Florida in 2022 to assist in Hurricane Ian recovery efforts. 

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