Survivors view destruction left by tornado that hit Parkersburg. The cleanup continues from Sunday’s deadly tornado that hit northeast Iowa. Two people were killed in New Hartford, with four killed in Parkersburg, where more than 200 homes were destroyed and another 400 were damaged.

Parkersburg lost its only gas station, grocery store and its city hall, in addition to Aplington-Parkersburg High School, where Dave Meyer is principal.

Meyer says the high school is a total loss. They went inside to try and salvage some items but what’s left of the building isn’t structurally sound so they couldn’t remain. Meyer says even longtime residents are having a tough time navigating in Parkersburg.

He says common landmarks are gone and some people have put up signs to show which streets are which, as the debris is so widely scattered. Meyer says in addition to the 220-some homes damaged or destroyed, another 20-some businesses were wiped away by the mile-wide twister.

The only grocery store is gone, the QuikTrip is gone, a number of businesses that employ people in the community are gone. Despite the wide amount of damage, Meyer says he’s confident the small town will be able to rebuild. He says the community will pull together and persevere. Governor Culver has made disaster declarations for Blackhawk, Buchanan, Butler and Delaware counties, while National Guard troops are expected to help with the cleanup.

(Photo courtesy of Bob Fisher)