Mayor of Thurman: “little less than 100%” of homes damaged by tornado


April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service reports a tornado that passed through the far southwest Iowa town of Thurman packed peak winds of 125 miles per hour. The EF2 twister toppled hundreds of trees and power lines. Thurman Mayor Rod Umphreys says all of the nearly 230 residents of the town were impacted in some way. “Probably a little less than 100-percent of the homes have some damage – from a just a few shingles or siding damage to total loss,” Umphreys said.

At least 14 homes in Thurman were destroyed, while two dozen more were heavily damaged. There were no reports of serious injuries. “There were none, I mean, a few bumps and bruises,” Umphreys said. “It’s amazing, because it was a direct hit on a lot of houses and a direct hit on the town. To not have any fatalities or serious injuries, not even a broken bone, it is amazing.” Umphreys is equally amazed with the flood of volunteers who’ve turned out to help with the cleanup effort.

In addition to Iowans, volunteers have come from the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin and Montana. “We had over 900 volunteers (Sunday) and we’re well over a couple hundred today already, with more on the way,” Umphreys said. “We couldn’t do this without all the volunteer help and the donations of equipment and materials.” The National Weather Service in Omaha reports the tornado that struck Thurman first touched down around 5:30 p.m. Saturday and covered a path of 10.8 miles from northeast of Percival, through Thurman, before lifting one mile south of Tabor. Fremont County authorities said the only people who required hospitalization were four truckers who’s semis were blown over on Interstate 29. 

(Radio Iowa)