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Newscast 5.28.2024: Mayor recalls Minden, Greenfield, Iowa tornadoes; More Iowa children consuming alcohol they thought was juice; Trump leads South Dakota poll; Avian bird flu found in NW Iowa

Damage is seen after a tornado moved through Greenfield, Iowa, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Hannah Fingerhut)
Damage is seen after a tornado moved through Greenfield, Iowa, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Hannah Fingerhut)

The mayor of a small Iowa town hit by a tornado a month ago says it was hard to see a second tornado deliver more devastation in Iowa. That second powerful twister hit Greenfield, Iowa, one week ago, leveling homes and killing four people.

Kevin Zimmerman, the long-time mayor of Minden, says both storms have left him shell-shocked.

“I've had several sleepless nights just thinking about it, you know, what we've gone through and what you wish you could just jump in the truck and go there and help them guys right away. That was a big part of what helped us,” Zimmerrman said.

As for the Minden tornado, it has now been a month since that late April devastating weather event. Zimmerman said the majority of the debris has been cleared away, after 50 homes and many businesses were destroyed..

“We're getting a lot of the big piles hauled away. And we're tearing the concrete foundations out and stuff and getting ready to either rebuild or leave empty lots,” he said.

Zimmerman says some older residents with destroyed homes have decided not to stay, while others wait for their insurance claims to kick in. He says many were underinsured, including himself.

“Check your insurance to make sure you have enough insurance on your property. You know, make sure you got enough coverage. You know, so you because you never know,” Zimmerman said.

The tornado also destroyed Minden’s water treatment plant, and it could take years for a new one to take its place. So, for now, residents are using a temporary system to get by.

In other news, poison control experts say they’re seeing an increase in calls related to children accidentally consuming an alcoholic beverage they believed was juice or pop.

Janna Day is the education and outreach manager at the Iowa Poison Control Center. She says this has been a growing problem as more companies like Mountain Dew or Sunny D are releasing alcoholic versions of their products.

“We have started getting calls that are more specific to we thought this was non-alcoholic, but it actually had alcohol in it. Some of those look alike type things is maybe what we're seeing and hearing more about,” Day said.

Day says adults should take extra precautions to keep alcoholic beverages that could be appealing to kids out of their reach. And to seek professional help if a child does consume anything they shouldn’t.

Additionally, Republican nominee Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden by nearly 20 points in South Dakota, but is struggling to get more than half of the statewide vote, according to a scientific poll of 500 registered voters co-sponsored by South Dakota News Watch.

Trump was at 50%, well ahead of Biden’s 31% in the poll, which was also sponsored by the Chiesman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota. Third-party challenger Robert Kennedy Jr., who is not yet on the ballot in the state, polled at 11% percent, while 7% were undecided.

Of GOP respondents in the poll, 70% said they had a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to 10% unfavorable.

The last Democrat to finish within 10 points of a Republican nominee in a South Dakota presidential election was Barack Obama in 2008.

Also in the poll, Republican Governor Kristi Noem had an overall favorability of 39 percent.

In other news, In other news, inspection services of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Sioux County, Iowa. The affected site is a flock of commercial layer chickens.

HPAI is a viral disease that affects both wild and domestic bird populations as well as lactating dairy cattle. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture is strongly encouraging Iowa poultry producers and dairy farmers to bolster their biosecurity practices and protocols to protect their flocks and herds.

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