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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Update: Tornado mangles Thurman, Iowa

  • The streets of the small town of Thurman, Iowa, were clogged Saturday with volunteers and family and friends helping with the clean up the day after the little town was hit by a tornado.


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  • The streets of the small town of Thurman, Iowa, were clogged Saturday with volunteers and family and friends helping with the clean up the day after the little town was hit by a tornado.
     
    Even though an estimated 75 percent of the town’s structures were heavily damaged, no one was reported injured.
     
     As some sawed fallen trees into manageable pieces, others loaded branches and debris on trucks to be hauled away.
     
    By Saturday morning, streets had been cleared enough to allow traffic through. Roads to town had been closed the night before because of downed power lines and impassable roads.
     
    By Saturday afternoon, so many people had converged on the town that people were being stopped at the I-29 interchange and sent away.
    Many residents were surrounded by family and friends who had come to their aid.
     
    Meanwhile, members of the media went through town recording the events.
     
    Some residents commented that they had been interviewed several times by different media.
    Most residents seemed to be intent on clean up and grateful not to have been harmed, but Project Recovery Iowa representatives, who were handing out information on how to get crisis counseling, said most were still in a state of shock and disbelief.
     
     “They are still in the impact stage. The realization is not there yet. Give them three to four days after the volunteers are all gone...then it hits. That’s when we’ll be back,” said Sheila Roush and Linda Damrau. Both know what it’s like to provide crisis help in Fremont County after having done so during the flood. And they know the area well, with Roush being from Farragut and Damrau from Sidney.
     
    Those needing crisis counseling can call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985.
     
    Red Cross mobile units also made their way through the streets, offering water and food to all.
    Ed Schwartz of the Red Cross said they would be there that evening to serve supper as well.
     
    When serving people, Red Cross volunteers can help determine who needs more help than just food and water, Schwartz said. “We look for their mental and spiritual needs too.”
     
    See the Hamburg Reporter and the Nebraska City News-Press for some personal accounts, including a 71-year-old who talks about her narrow escape when the tornado heavily damaged the house in which she was living.

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