Twister-wracked Thurman sees recovery begin to take shape

News

April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Recovery efforts are still in full-swing in the southwest Iowa town of Thurman which was hit by a powerful tornado on Saturday. Hundreds of volunteers turned out to help with the initial clean-up. Red Cross spokeswoman Alyson Roach says her agency’s workers are still in the Fremont County town, lending a hand. “They’re out right now with food trucks serving meals, snacks, making sure people are hydrated,” Roach says. Virtually every home in Thurman suffered some damage from the E-F-2 twister, while 14 houses were demolished and 28 were heavily damaged. The town of about 229 people had no serious injuries reported and no deaths. The Red Cross will continue to serve meals as long as they’re needed and Roach says they’re helping residents who were impacted by the storm.

“We have assessed the damage in the area to determine which houses were hardest hit and we are starting the process of client casework,” Roach says. “We’ll determine the immediate disaster cause needs of families and help them out with food, clothing, shelter, referrals, information, whatever they need to get through the next few days while they’re recovering.” Roach says those clean-up volunteers made a huge difference, evidenced in one example on Sunday, the day after the tornado struck.  “Six o’clock AM, you couldn’t see across the park because it was so littered with tree limbs, debris and insulation,” she says. “By the end of the day, there were kids playing in the playground.”

To make a donation toward the community’s recovery, call 800-Red Cross or visit: “redcross.org”.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)