It’s been more than four months since a tornado carved a path through the town of Belmond in north-central Iowa’s Wright County. There’s still a mess and volunteers are needed for a community clean-up scheduled for later this month.
Leann Waltzing, Belmond’s city manager and city clerk, is helping organize the effort. “We’re looking for people over the age of 18 to come down and help us,” Waltzing says. “We’ll be pulling pieces of insulation and tin siding and whatever blew to the east into an open field and into the east branch of the Iowa River.”
Fortunately, there were no injuries reported in the June 12th storm, but the debris remains. Waltzing says there have been several smaller efforts to tidy things up in the town of 2,300, but tornadoes can be very destructive and throw items far and wide.
“The individual property owners had cleanup on their properties,” she says. “This is the first kind of public one that has been organized.” Waltzing says volunteers are asked to meet on Saturday, October 26th at what was The Cattlemen Restaurant, which was destroyed by the storm, and be ready to work. She asks that volunteers wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes and work gloves. Volunteers should also call the Belmond City Hall and register before the event.
This week marks the 47th anniversary of the tornado that destroyed Belmond, killing six people.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)