The two children who died were under the age of five, Madison County Emergency Management Director Diogenes Ayala said.
“This is, I think, the worst anyone has seen in quite a long time,” Ayala said.
The tornado in Madison County, which is southwest of Des Moines, also left one adult with life-threatening injuries and three others hospitalized in serious condition, Ayala said.
“This is a widespread storm,” Ayala said. He estimated there was serious damage to more than two dozen homes.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Madison County, saying she and her husband are praying for the lives claimed and those injured in the tornado.
The proclamation allows state resources to be used for response and recovery efforts in Madison County, according to the news release. Other counties may be added to the proclamation.
Tornado kills 6, including 2 children, near Des Moines, Iowa, officials say