Sunday an F4 tornado destroyed most of Parkersburg, a small town about 10 miles north of Waterloo. It killed seven people, destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, and made a war zone out of several towns. The same tornado persisted for nearly an hour, blazing a path across several counties into Waterloo along Dunkerton road, where it destroyed several homes a previous tornado did in 2000. My house is roughly 3 miles from the path the twister took through the city, and we didn't get a single drop of rain. There was never any thunder, only the sound of an avalanche, sustained, for nearly fifteen minutes; when I was a kid, my mom said tornadoes sounded like trains, and living less than a mile from the train yards, I can finally say, yes they do. They sound like trains from hell.
Several people at work were affected by the tornado as well. A lot of people say, that's life in Iowa. One minute, it's blue skies and sunshine, the next it's snow. Rain. Tornadoes. A lot of people say, nothing ever happens in Iowa. I think that's a good thing, in the end. A lot of people say, I'm glad that didn't happen to me. You get up, go to work, eat the same lunch you pack everyday and people sift through the wreckage for belongings, memories, bodies, and will tomorrow, until it's done. That's what Iowans do, too. We get up, and go on.
The Hawkeye Chapter of the Red Cross is assisting families and taking donations: