PARKERSBURG, Iowa (AP) -- Officials and residents of Parkersburg, Iowa, say it's thanks to warning sirens that more people weren't injured or killed when a tornado devastated the town over the weekend.
Ed Thomas says he immediately got in his car and headed home when the siren went off. When he got there, the high school football coach says his wife was already under the steps in the basement, and he made it inside about three minutes before the tornado hit.
That's when he says he heard a sound "like a freight training coming." Next was a "large crack" when the twister apparently hit the house, followed by the sounds of wood and other things shattering.
Four people were killed in Parkersburg and two others in a town nearby. More than 220 homes and 21 businesses were destroyed, while 400 other homes were damaged.
Thomas tells CBS that the town of 1,000 is in mourning, and survivors are "just thankful to be alive."