Iowa City Business Destroyed By Storm

By Steve Nicoles, Iowa City Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY - The National Guard wasn't needed on Riverside Drive. Businesses sustained a lot of damage, but most people just looked on in amazement. One business was totally destroyed and will be missed.

What was once a Dairy Queen is now nothing more than rubble. A few posts are still standing, but that's about it. Fortunately, no one was hurt. With all of the damage from Thursday night, it's impossible to say which is worse, but many people will feel the loss of one Iowa City icon - the Dairy Queen on Riverside.

Jay Callen of Riverside told KCRG-TV9 News, “We decided it was too late to leave and we might as well enjoy some ice cream, and if worst comes to worst, we can go to the basement. Well, they got a real nice basement.”

The basement is all that's left of the 45-year-old building. Family owned and operated since 1961, the latest generation has to decide what to do next. Owner Scott McWane told KCRG-TV9 News, “I’m going to try to get it on back here if I can. I'll see how it all goes."

First, the owners have to assess and clean up the damage - a daunting task, considering what happened. Kennedy Callen of Riverside told KCRG-TV9 News, “It just sounded like a freight train or a bunch of cars or elephants running overhead, and it shook a lot."

The storm wiped out an Iowa City landmark, but didn't hurt anyone inside. That, along with some free ice cream, is enough to make anyone smile. Even the owners had smiles, although one seemed to be more in shock than in a good mood.

There's no telling how long it will take to rebuild the Dairy Queen, but after 45 years, few people want to see it gone for good.

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