Mike Bolger, his two young children, and his mother-in-law, were killed when a tornado ripped through the town of Winterset, Iowa. Bolger is survived by his oldest son, Brysen, and wife, Kuri Bolger, who are still fighting for their lives. The deadly tornado killed seven people on Saturday.

Originally from Blue Springs, Mo., Mike and his family were visiting relatives in the area when the tornado hit and killed four family members. According to Madison County authorities, the eight family members tried to wait out the storm in the same house. That included Mike Bolger, 37, wife Kuri Bolger, children Brysen, Kinlee, 5, and Owen, 2. The children’s grandma, Melissa Bazley, 63, was also there along with her husband and adult son. The two men survived while Bazley passed away.

Rodney Clark and Cecilia Lloyd, two neighbors of the family, were also killed by the tornado. According to authorities, Kuri Bolger suffered critical injuries from the tornado. More information about her condition has not been released, and it is unclear what hospital she is being treated in.

Mike Bolger tornado
A deadly tornado touched down in Winterset, Iowa and killed four family members, including a little girl and a little boy. In total, seven people were killed on Saturday. (Credit: Shutterstock.com)

After the devastating tornado, a GoFundMe page was set up for Kuri Bolger and Brysen. So far, over $250,000 has been donated with an original goal of $300,000.

The page said, “Kuri is currently still in the hospital with severe injuries but stable and Brysen has been discharged from the hospital with minor injuries. There will be a long road ahead for both of them and their entire family as Kuri lost her mother in the disaster as well. All funds donated will go directly to Kuri for hospital bills, ongoing expenses and provide proper celebrations of life for the family.”

A prayer vigil was also held Sunday night at Lucy Franklin Elementary in Blue Springs to remember Mike Bolger and his two children. Over 300 people gathered in the school gym and Principal Cory Laboube said that his community is ready to support the Bolger family and others who were impacted by the sudden loss.

He said, “Just looking for continued prayers and support. They’ve (Bolger family) got a long road ahead of them. We just want to continue to lift them up and be here to support. Appreciate what you have, appreciate the time that you’ve got and just hold dear the ones you love.”

Authorities say that the terrifying tornado touched down around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and it was categorized as an EF-3 storm based on the damage that it caused. The storm had winds averaging around 165 mph and it destroyed homes, ripped down trees and tangled powerlines. 10,000 people in the Des Moines area were affected by power outages during the natural disaster and over 52 homes were damaged in the 14-mile area.

A small storm touched down less than an hour later in Lucas County, Iowa. That tornado killed one person and injured others. The identity of the deceased has not been reported, but they have said that the victim was staying in an RV at Red Haw State Park in Chariton, Iowa.

Following the storms, Iowa officials praised first responders for their hard work and determination. Madison County Emergency Management Director Diogenes Ayala said, “With trees and debris and everything around, just to go out there and start the search and rescue and get the people affected out of there, I cannot express the heroism of the first responders who were out there last night.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds toured the tornado’s path after the storm and spoke about the “unimaginable destruction,” that she saw. She also talked about the citizens who poured into the area to help Madison County recover. They were able to clear paths and remove debris from the damaged homes.

“It’s just unbelievable. I tried to walk through and thank them and over and over (and) the response was, we’re Iowans and that’s what we do,” Reynolds said.

National Weather Service teams will continue to assess the storm’s damage.