A group of central Iowans picked a bad time to go to Australia, as that island nation took a huge hit from Cyclone Larry. Officials fear thousands of people are homeless and thousands more whose homes survived the wind and rain don’t have power. Val Courter of Grinnell is among 22 Iowans on the trip to down under through Grinnell State Bank.
Courter says they plan to go to Ayer’s Rock tomorrow and then up to Cairns but they’re in close contact with officials about any danger and they have alternative plans at the ready. The group has been in Australia two weeks already and they plan to return to Iowa on Saturday. The cyclone, what hurricanes are called in the southern hemisphere, was reportedly more powerful than Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area last fall.