Five Months Later, Tornado Debris a Headache

By Josh Hinkle, Anchor/Reporter


By Becky Ogann

DUNKERTON - This past spring's EF-5 tornado is now causing even more problems for eastern Iowa farmers.

The tornado struck Parkersburg, New Hartford and Dunkterton. As the farmers outside of those towns combine their fields, they're finding some surprises underneath.

At one farm, the crew piled up 61 wagon loads of debris, quite a hazard during the harvest.

A new roof put Delyle and Carolyn Russell back in their home after the tornado. But the old roof kept them out of their field.

It is debris dropped from their house, their neighbors and the nearby town of Dunkterton. You can understand their frustration after more than four months of clean up.

"Do you mean do I like swear or something like that? I Yeah. No I wouldn't do that," said DeLyle Russel, farmer.

"Sometimes you just feel like getting in the car and driving away and never coming back. But you know you don't want to do that either," said Carolyn Russell, wife.

As DeLyle sifted through the soybeans and put the wreckage on his wagon only to discover another dilemna from the storm.

"I thought my wagon was all right even though it had been upside down and all the welds were broke on it," said DeLyle.

Some things the tornado spared, like the Russell's lives. Just a month shy of their 50th anniversary they huddled together in their basement. And together is how they'll make it through this new challenge.

"That's what we're supposed to encourage one another because we need it," said Carolyn.

"I try, but, we just do the best we can you know," said DeLyle.

Keep in mind here around the Russell's home the tornado was only an EF-2. When it first touched down near Parkersberg it was an EF-5 with a base a mile wide.

We talked to many farmers there who haven't even started to harvest. There's no telling what they'll find.

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