Residents of Vinton are remembering a massive wind storm that ripped the eastern Iowa town one year ago today. Vinton Mayor John Watson was shocked with the amount of destruction.
“It was an amazing morning with hundreds of trees across the roadways and no way to move in and around the town hardly,” Watson said. According to the National Weather Service, winds reaching 130 miles per hour brought down power lines and trees and damaged homes and buildings. One year later, very few signs of the storm still exist.
“I would say we’re probably 95% totally recovered,” Watson said. “We have a couple buildings, one has to be (demolished) and one repaired. The city is still working to remove the stumps from 800 trees knocked down on public land. They’re also replanting – 100 trees went into the ground in June and more will be planted this fall. Watson is still surprised last year’s storm didn’t turn out much worse.
“The amazing thing is, it was such a tragedy, but no one actually got hurt. We waited all day to find someone who was hurt by the debris, but fortunately no one was hurt that day,” Watson said. A block party is scheduled for tonight in Vinton to recognize the one year anniversary of the storm. Watson said the city is also busy preparing for RAGBRAI, which will roll through Vinton on July 26.
By Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids