Rebuilding After A Tornado: Iowa Town Still On Edge - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Rebuilding After A Tornado: Iowa Town Still On Edge

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By:  Melina Matthes
MMatthes@kptm.com

THURMAN, IA (kptm) - With severe weather season in effect, a town in Iowa is preparing for the worst, this after being hit by a tornado only two years ago.  Fox 42 News was in Thurman Iowa today where people said they now constantly check the sky.

A sidewalk in a field is the only evidence that a school once stood at the edge of town. 

It along with 75% of the town of Thurman, Iowa was destroyed by a tornado that lasted only about a minute. 

With severe weather threatening the area, the people living in this town said it’s important to be prepared for the worst.  “It’s scary, it’s really scary thing.  We could’ve been killed that day very easily, we was one of the lucky ones.”

Troy Donahue and his girlfriend were home when the tornado came down without warning.  “Just normal rain shower than all of a sudden it got severe and there wasn’t much time to do anything.  We just had a wind come up and all of a sudden it was a tornado here and gone that quick.”

Forecasters weren’t predicting severe weather.  “Everything seemed to be pretty normal until that evening and that’s when it had gotten really stormy,” neighbor Karey Collins said.


The sirens sounded just seconds before, but only those outside heard them.  “We never heard them.  You don’t hear them inside the house.  All I heard was trees cracking and glass starting to break and all I could do is get in the most center part of the house and hang on,” Donahue said.

In about a minute, nearly every tree was pulled from the ground and all the homes were damaged.  “There were just trees everywhere and it was really scary,” Collins said.

After the tornado, Collins bought a new home, this time with two tornado shelters.  “It’d be nice not to have to ever use them but I guess it’s kind of a relief knowing that we do have them.”

Something many homes in Thurman now have.  “You may think that it’s going to be something small, a small storm but when we’d had the one in Thurman it was much bigger than everyday expected it to be, much worse because it affected pretty much everybody.”

People living here Thurman are rebuilding the town.  The park was destroyed by the tornado but it’s since been rebuilt and even though they live in an area where severe weather threatens constantly, they said they’re keeping hope alive, but they’re always watching the sky

People living in Thurman Iowa also strongly suggest buying a weather radio.  They said when the storm hit they lost cable and had no warning other than the sirens.  However those inside didn’t even hear those. 


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