Tornado Wipes Out Half Of A Town In Iowa; Governor Declares State Of Emergency

Over half of a town in Iowa was damaged when a large tornado swept through it on Saturday night, leaving an estimated 20% of it "completely flattened."

This aerial photo shows tornado damage in Mapleton, Iowa. Saturday's storm flattened 12 to 15 blocks of the town.

Over half of a town in Iowa was damaged when a large tornado swept through it on Saturday night, leaving an estimated 20% of it "completely flattened."

Miraculously, no one was killed in Mapleton, a small town with about 1,200 people.

"We had a few people with cuts," Mayor Fred Standa said Sunday morning. "But nothing bad, so we're lucky here."The clean-up will be massive, according to reports though and Iowa governor Terry E. Brandstad issued a state of emergency.

An amateur video posted on CNN.com showed the funnel cloud swirling towards the town.

"Mapleton, Mapleton is in big trouble," a voice in the background is heard saying in the video.

Jason Mauch, center, carries a basket of belonging from his destroyed house in Mapleton, Iowa, Sunday, April 10, 2011, after a large tornado struck the town. Authorities reported no serious injuries.

The amateur storm chaser was right.

The roof on a local high school was blown off and several homes and buildings were completely destroyed. One resident even reported her shed and gazebo were missing.

The tornado was one of three tornados that went through northern and west central Iowa on Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

"It was almost like the movies," one tornado survivor said. "It was loud – really loud."

New York Daily News