One Week After the Tornado Hit Parkersburg

By: Mark Geary, Reporter


By Claire Kellett

PARKERSBURG - One week ago people were struggling to comprehend what had just happened in their hometown. After that day many lives will never be the same. Severe weather caused at least six tornadoes in eastern Iowa last Sunday. The most damaging one wiped out hundreds of homes in Parkersburg, Hazleton, Dunkerton, and New Hartford. Seven people died. It was the strongest tornado to hit Iowa in more than 30 years.

Parkersburg was pretty empty Sunday. Teams of volunteers were working in various locations, though. They were sorting through debris, but most people have already finished with that part of the process. Only about 30 of the 220 destroyed homes still need major clean-up work. Most homeowners are simply waiting for bulldozers to come through and clear away all of the piles.

Many people there say they can't believe it's already been one week since the tornado hit. They also say they never expected so many people would come here to help.

"Thank you for the outpouring of love people have shown just organizations and people coming together and understanding that this is people's lives here," says Renessa Zurbriggen.

"It's just still kind of overwhelming it's going to take a long time but we will make it," says Marcia Allspach.

People in Parkersburg say they are just eager to get all of this debris out of here. Then they can finally stop looking back and instead start planning for the future.

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