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,” said Ayala. He estimated there was serious damage to more than two dozen homes.