Two busloads full of students and staff from Aplington-Parkersburg High School made the trip to Mapleton yesterday to help with clean up efforts in the western Iowa town that was struck by a tornado on Saturday. One of the staff members along for the ride was A-P football coach Alex Pollock, who says they just went through the affected area of Mapleton, doing whatever tasks were needed.

Pollock says they got off the bus and immediately started raking debris and picking up things as they moved from house to house. Pollock says that some of the damage left behind by Saturday’s tornado is very reminiscent of what happened in Parkersburg three years ago. He says the amount of trees knocked downed and uprooted was something that was very similar to Parkersburg.

Pollock says that the people of Aplington and Parkersburg have not forgotten the outpouring of support that they received after the 2008 tornado, and they feel an obligation to help out any other community that faces the same situation.

In talking with some of the residents of Mapleton, Pollock says that they are already looking to Parkersburg as an example of how they can recover from this latest disaster.

Over 110 A-P students made the seven hour round trip to Mapleton.

By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls