The events surrounding the one year anniversary of the deadly tornado that hit Parkersburg and New Hartford include honoring the eight people who died in the storm, and healing for those who survived.
Parkersburg resident Valerie Thorn has organized everything from a 5K run to a memorial service at an elementary school. Thorn says her goal was to allow there to be spaces of time where people to be together as she says there still needs to be healing among residents.
Thorn says,"People still see each other in the store and say, ‘were you home’, that’s the question ‘were you home?’" The run is being called an EF5K run, taking note of the E-F-5 rating of the tornado that killed six people in Parkersburg and two in New Hartford.
The pastor of the Parkersburg and New Hartford United Methodist Churches, Betsy Piette agrees people are still healing. Piette says dark storm clouds could still cause concern for people who survived the storm and seem to be fine on the outside.
She says people who have been through floods and tornadoes need to understand that their bodies are going to react that way from some time, and as long as they say things will be alright, they can make it through it.
The tornado also damaged homes near Dunkerton and Hazelton in northeast Iowa.