Residents of the small south-central Iowa town of Attica are cleaning up after a suspected tornado swept through the area early Friday. The unincorporated town of just over 100 residents does not have severe weather sirens.
Bob and Sue Mallory were up at 5 a.m. when the storm hit. Sue says she and her husband were both getting ready for work. "He was at the back door getting ready to leave when I followed him and said I was getting a little afraid of the wind. Then, all the sudden, things starting pelting the house and I saw him go through the wall…I turned and just held on to one of the cupboards. I couldn’t make it to the basement," Sue said. A short time later, the Mallory’s home was flattened.
Bob says the strength of the storm took him by surprise. "The wind blew the back door open, it came shut and then it sucked the door clear off the house. So, I decided I’d stay and wait for the wind to die down. Then, about ten seconds later, the house was on top of us," Bob said. The Mallory’s home, which they just remodeled with new siding and a new roof, is now a heap of wood and metal.
Sue, who sustained only a cut to her face, says they were both shocked by the destruction. "I hollored at my husband, who was pinned under a wall, that our house was gone. He didn’t believe me, but I said ‘no, it’s gone,’" Sue said. Bob says he now knows what residents of Parkersburg, New Hartford and other tornado-ravaged communities are going through. "Everything you save for 35 years is just in a pile…everything’s gone," Bob said.
A few people in Attica were injured, at least four were taken to a hospital in Knoxville for treatment. Other possible tornadoes caused damage in Lucas and Warren Counties, near Adel in Dallas County, Farnhamville in Calhoun County and near Murray in Clarke County.