HomeNewsDeadly Tornado Devastates Family, Kills Father and Two Kids

Deadly Tornado Devastates Family, Kills Father and Two Kids

by Courtney Blackann
AFP PHOTO/PAUL BUCK (Photo credit should read PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images)

In an absolutely heartbreaking event, a tornado forever shattered the lives of one Iowa family this weekend. The deadly tornado that ripped through their home ended up killing a father and two of his children.

What to Know

  • A father and two of his children died after a deadly tornado
  • The storm hit the town of Winterset, Iowa Saturday, killing seven
  • A GoFundMe page was set up to help with the family’s funeral costs and medical bills for the mother, who was seriously injured in the tornado
  • Residents reflect on tornado damage to homes, property

The storm threatened the town of Winterset, Iowa Saturday, wreaking havoc on several homes as a violent tornado barreled through. Though they attempted to take shelter, the Bolger family couldn’t all be saved, per the New York Post.

Thirty-seven year old Mike Bolger, along with his two year old son and five year old daughter perished in the deadly accident. Bolger’s wife Kuri also suffered serious injuries in the event. The family’s oldest son, Brysen, was able to make it through the storm unscathed.

However, Kuri’s 63-year old mother who was visiting with her husband and son, also died following the tornado.

The tragic events left the town devastated as multiple homes were destroyed and seven deaths were confirmed. Though it went through quickly, there wasn’t enough time for everyone to seek shelter.

A GoFundMe for the Bolger family was set up to help with Kuri’s medical costs as well as funerals for her family.

“All funds will go directly to Kuri for hospital bills, ongoing expenses and provide proper celebrations of life for the family,” read the post on the GoFundMe.

Neighbors Reflect on Deadly Tornado

In the aftermath of the deadly storm, the people of Winterset are making recoveries and reflecting on the harrowing experience.

“We looked out the window and it was dark and we saw stuff flying through the air and my boyfriend said that’s pieces of a house, get to the basement. So we got to the basement and he had to pull and hold the door shut because it was trying to open on him,” resident Mandy Gurgensen said.

She continued:

“I just said we need to pray. But I didn’t know if we were going to make it out alive.”

Though most homes along her street are no longer standing, Gurgensen’s home somehow made it through. She was surprised to see that the structure kept both her and her boyfriend out of harm’s way.

In the event of a tornado emergency, Ready.gov has tips on how to act quickly and stay safe.

  • Go to NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials. 
  • Go to a safe shelter immediately, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If you can’t stay at home, make plans to go to a public shelter.