Tornado damage in Stratford on this date in 2005

Tornado damage in Stratford in 2005

It was ten years ago today that a large tornado struck the north-central Iowa town of Stratford in Hamilton County. The twister wiped out nearly two-dozen homes, caused multiple injuries and claimed one life.

Stratford resident Greg Carlson says a commemorative event is planned tonight so folks can remember what happened and realize how far the city has bounced back since the severe storm.

“We are having an event in the Stratford School cafeteria from 5:30 to 9 PM,” Carlson says. “We will have different stations set up of different topics about the tornado, pictures and memories and different things like that.”

The storm hit late in the afternoon on November 12th of 2005, a Saturday. As the dark clouds approached, thousands of fans at the Iowa State-Colorado football game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames had to head for cover. The town of Woodward was also hit by heavy storm damage and then-Governor Tom Vilsack issued disaster proclamations for both communities.

Carlson says Stratford has made a lot progress in the decade since the storm.

“We had 22 or 23 homes destroyed and the majority of them were rebuilt, not every single one but quite a few,” Carlson says. “It also hit our city park pretty bad but it looks good today.”

There is no admission charge for tonight’s event.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City