First off- is a video from some people who were just out for a road trip- and they drive through Mapleton about an hour before the tornado struck- then encounter storm chasers and the storm itself.
Other storm chaser videos show more or less a large dust devil that grew into the EF-3 funnel that went trough Mapleton around 7:20 p.m..
I warn video viewers in advance of some coarse language and insensitivity of some of the storm chasers.
The area had been under a Tornado Watch for several hours- and the spotter reports gave Mapleton about a 10-15 minute warning before the town was hit.
There were more than 2 dozen tornado reports throughout the northwestern quarter of Iowa Saturday evening- yet there were less than 20 injuries with most of those in Mapleton- the worst of which was a broken leg.
Storm chasers entering the town after the tornado encountered darkness and confusion- and in this day of instant communications- it was more than an hour after the tornado struck Mapleton until it was apparent to the outside world just how bad the town had been struck.
More than 60% of Mapleton suffered varying degrees of damage.
I was listening to an AM radio station in Fort Dodge who were doing live severe weather reports- and even up to an hour and a half after Mapleton had been hit there were only sporatic- "unconfirmed" civilian reports that a major tornado had stuck there.
CSW was one of the first news media outlets in the nation to report the Mapleton tornado and if such a tornado outbreak occurs in MetroRegion Kansas City- our wide-area radio- camera and radar coverage will break that story here first.