(CNN) — Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing in an Iowa community devastated by a brutal tornado Tuesday afternoon and there’s another widespread threat for storms to the east.

Multiple fatalities and some injuries have been reported in the small city of Greenfield, Iowa – about 50 miles southwest of Des Moines – after an at least EF3 tornado carved a devastating path through the community, Iowa State Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Alex Dinkla told CNN. Officials would not elaborate on the number or nature of the deaths because of the active search and rescue, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a Wednesday news conference.

More than 100 first responders were combing through the wreckage of the town Wednesday, Reynolds said. The city’s hospital sustained damage and some patients were moved to other facilities in surrounding areas. At least four medical airlift flights occurred.

A “makeshift hospital” was set up in the city’s lumberyard Tuesday right after the tornado tracked out of the area, State Rep. Ray Sorensen said Wednesday. Sorensen lives in the area and assisted with recovery efforts in the immediate aftermath.

“We pulled a guy from the rubble and put him on a little makeshift stretcher that we made for him on the back of a truck,” Sorensen recalled.

The damage to the city is immense. Video taken by CNN affiliate KCCI shows homes and other structures have been obliterated and the community is blanketed with heaps of debris, tossed cars and uprooted trees.

“It’s horrific,” Reynolds said Wednesday. “It’s hard to describe until you can actually see the devastation.”

At least 18 tornadoes were reported in Iowa Tuesday – part of a torrent of storms that have left widespread power outages, structural damage and flooding across the US this week.

Tornado reports have skyrocketed well-above average in recent weeks as the typically busiest period of severe weather season unfolds. The more than 800 tornadoes reported so far this year make it one of the most active years for twisters on record.

More than 50,000 homes and businesses are in the dark across Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois as of Wednesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us. More outages are anticipated as storms roll through the East.

Wednesday’s severe thunderstorm threat is slightly less intense than Tuesday’s, but dangerous storms remain possible. Damaging winds, hail and some tornadoes could occur along a sprawling 1,500-mile expanse from Texas to western Vermont.

Energetic storms rumbled to life Wednesday morning in parts of Oklahoma. Additional thunderstorms will fire up throughout the day and likely reach peak in strength in parts of the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley during the afternoon and evening.

Severe storms are also likely to fire up from the Ohio Valley through the Northeast Wednesday afternoon. These storms could be slightly less organized and widespread than those in the South, but damaging wind gusts and hail are possible. The tornado threat is very limited in this area.

Cities including Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, St. Louis, Memphis, Cleveland, Tulsa and Columbus, Ohio, should be storm-aware.

Some Iowa neighborhoods left in ruins

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster emergency proclamation Tuesday for 15 counties as a potent line of thunderstorms tore through the state.

Greenfield and other parts of western Iowa bore the brunt of the storms’ catastrophic impacts.

In addition to the fatalities reported in Greenfield, at least one other person was killed as storms passed through nearby Adams County, local officials said. A tornado also toppled a hulking wind turbine just south of Greenfield in Prescott, Iowa, and more than two dozen homes were damaged or destroyed in Montgomery County, including some “critical public facilities,” emergency management officials said. No injuries have been reported but damage assessments are still ongoing.

But Greenfield is the epicenter of Tuesday’s event.

“There is basically nothing left,” Clel Baudler, a former Iowa state representative who lives a half mile from Greenfield, told CNN on Tuesday.

Valerie Warrior, a Greenfield resident, pleaded with God to protect her home and her family before she rode out the storm in her basement, she told KCCI.

“I was in the furnace room and then I heard (the storm) like a train,” she said, describing insulation flying off of basement windows. “I heard it, and I knew it was hitting.”

Warrior said the scale of damage is devastating to see, but she is confident residents will pull each other through the crisis.

“They’ll get through it. You already see people out helping each other, working together. And that’s what they do, people come together when a tragedy happens. People come together to support and encourage each other.”

Fighting back tears, Warrior looked out the rubble strewn across her neighborhood and tried to crack a smile.

“We’ll rebuild,” she said. “We’ll rebuild.”

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