Madison County residents marked the one year anniversary Sunday of the deadly tornado outbreak that included one that dropped down just outside Winterset and left six people dead.
Madison County Community Foundation manager Tom Leners says one year later, some people are still working on their insurance settlements. “There’s been a few challenges that way. But I think, overall, for the 50 some properties that were affected in Madison County, we feel like we are making progress,” he says. “And at this point, now people at least have a plan of what they’re going to do to get back in their property or utilize their property again.”
He says volunteers and residents got to work soon after the tornado hit. “There’s been a lot of cleanup, a lot of new construction, a lot of repair work has been done. So, those are all good things. There’s been a lot of folks wanting to help us through donations or an unkind sorts of supplies and that sort of thing,” Leners says.
The Foundation handled the donations in the aftermath of the tornado and Leners says there was a great outpouring of help.
“Through the generosity of people in our state and from other storm zones, we we raised over half a million dollars,” Leners says. “We had money coming in from really coast to coast and border to border and we were very greatful for that. You could see clusters of checks coming in from communities that had storm damage in the past five years where they donated to ours too.” He says it’s hard to total up all the donations made by people of services.
Some in central Iowa brought in their own equipment paid their own fuel costs to work removing downed trees. “That part of the county was a very mature tree stand. So a lot of trees a lot of damage that way a lot to clean up. And so, so much progress was made in the first week or 10 days of getting roads back open and getting driveways back open to where you could get back into the property,” Leners says.
Leners says he’s gotten a few concerned calls from people back in their property when there are storms. “There are still some folks that are concerned as we have storm warnings. And of course, now we’re getting back into that season,” he says. Leners say will continue to work to recover physically and emotionally from the deadly tornado.
The Bridge Community Church held a service Sunday in what Leners says was a kind of the official recognition of the one-year anniversary. The church worked with those who were displaced when their homes where destroyed.
Another person who was camping at Red Haw State Park near Chariton in Lucas County was killed on the same day by a tornado. There were 15 tornadoes confirmed in the state on that day.