BERNARD, Iowa -- A tornado touched down southeast of Bernard tonight, knocking down power lines and trees and damaging buildings.
A lightning strike from the storm also caused a residential fire near Dubuque.
No injuries were reported.
Dubuque County Emergency Management Director Tom Berger confirmed that a law enforcement official reported a tornado on the ground shortly after 8 p.m. along the Dubuque County-Jackson County line near Bernard.
The tornado knocked down power lines and trees and damaged some buildings in the area of Stoffel and Molony roads, Berger said, noting that in one case, a roof was torn off of a cattle shed. No injuries were reported, he said.
"The fire department is just over there assessing everything now," Berger said shortly before 9 p.m.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department said three residents reported damage to outbuildings.
Lyn Medinger, emergency management director for Jackson County, reported damage to a farm building at 113th Avenue and Bellevue-Cascade Road southeast of Bernard. About 50% of the 40-foot-by-60-foot building was on the ground, Medinger said.
He also reported tree damage in the Leisure Lake area.
Brian Pierce, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said his office received reports of downed trees and power lines on McDevitt Lane near the Jackson County-Dubuque County line.
He said the weather service will go out to the area on Monday to verify there was a tornado.
"We haven't heard all that much, and that's why we're going out to do a survey tomorrow," Pierce said.
According to emergency communications scanner traffic, trees were down across Bellevue-Cascade Road in the Bernard area.
Berger said officials won't know more about the tornado -- such as how long it was on the ground -- until an assessment on Monday.
Other tri-state-area communities also reported impacts from this evening's storm.
The storm knocked out power in the city of Cascade, where wind gusts of up to 55 mph were reported. Quarter-inch hail was reported near Manchester and branches were down throughout the city.
A lightning strike also caused a fire in the Barrington Lakes subdivision just outside of Dubuque, though no injuries were reported.
Just before 8 p.m., firefighters were called to a house at 11175 Hidden Springs Court after lightning struck the chimney and started a fire in the attached garage, said Jack Koetz, chief of the Centralia-Peosta Fire Department.
"We have a fire truck in Barrington Lakes now, so they were the first on the scene, so they contained it to the garage," he said.
Koetz said the family who lived in the house was home at the time of the fire but evacuated as soon as they realized the danger. Firefighters spent about 1.5 hours at the scene.
Koetz estimated the damage to the house at about $70,000, while the sheriff's department put the damage at $10,000.
Pierce noted that this evening's storms developed this afternoon in central Iowa, and additional storms developed later in the eastern part of the state, all associated with the cold front coming through the area.
"We're going to have much cooler temperatures and much lower humidity tomorrow," Pierce said shortly before 10 p.m. today.