Iowa State Trooper survives tornado while in car, repairs windows and aids Minden victims

On Friday evening in Minden, Iowa, a tornado struck and battered an Iowa state trooper’s cruiser, making it a terrifying experience. However, the trooper’s determination wasn’t swayed by the chaotic situation. He resourcefully patched up his vehicle using whatever materials he could find and immediately set out to assist those affected by the destructive twister.

Trooper Dustin Pieken, who was caught in a whirlwind of tornado debris near Minden, demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness in the face of danger. Despite his patrol car window being shattered by the chaos, he ingeniously utilized whatever he could find nearby to persevere through his night shift and provide assistance to the victims of the devastating tornado. The Iowa State Patrol praised his quick thinking and dedication to the task at hand.

The powerful tornado ripped roofs off houses, shattered trees, and even moved a two-story home 20 feet from its original foundation. Pieces of roof shingles, walls, and trees struck Pieken’s car, but he was lucky to only lose one window. The photo clearly shows that others were not as fortunate, as some windows did crack.

The aftermath of a tornado that tore through Minden, Iowa on April 26, 2024, reveals the devastating damage it left behind. In the foreground, a brick foundation stands exposed, while in the background, a house can be seen blown off its foundation.

According to the ISP’s Facebook page, Pieken wasted no time in rummaging through the trunk as soon as the wind subsided. He managed to find plastic sheeting, tape, and cardboard to patch up the damage, providing just enough support to make it to Minden – the town that bore the brunt of the impact. Pieken went from door to door, making sure to check on the well-being of the residents.

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Residents expressed their gratitude and relief upon learning that you are safe. They extended their heartfelt appreciation for your continued dedication in providing care to the victims of the storm. Some even referred to you as a hero for your selfless efforts.

During a press conference with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Minden Mayor Kevin Zimmerman, who also survived the tornado, became emotional. He broke down when asked by FOX Weather about the extent of the damage in comparison to the previous devastating tornado that struck the town in 1976.

Reynolds mentioned that there is a mayor in the community who has personally experienced the impact of the disaster. This mayor not only has to manage the community during this difficult time but also has to cope with personal losses, including his home and multiple businesses.

Approximately 180 houses in the town suffered damage, with roughly 40% of them being completely destroyed.

“We lost almost every building in town for the business district, but our water tower managed to withstand the destruction,” Zimmerman expressed. “Unfortunately, the current situation prevents us from pumping water into it, so we’re relying on generators for the time being.”

The governor has issued a disaster proclamation.

The mayor praised the early warning system for providing the town with enough time to seek shelter.

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