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Floyd County board gets tornado damage assessment

Floyd County board gets tornado damage assessment
In a bit of irony, a tornado that struck Rudd Wednesday evening knocked over a community emergency warning siren. Amber Hicks of Rudd reported on Facebook that her husband, Tyler Hicks, a volunteer firefighter, was pushing the siren button mounted on the pole when the pole was ripped away from him. He was not injured. Press photo by Bob Steenson
By Bob Steenson, [email protected]

Last Wednesday’s EF-1 tornado that struck Floyd County destroyed four single-family homes and two public buildings in Rudd. It also caused extensive tree damage through several parts of the county.

The Floyd County Board of Supervisors received damage reports on last Wednesday evening’s storm during the board’s workshop meeting Monday morning.

Jen Solomon, the Floyd County 911 coordinator and zoning, health board, emergency management and safety assistant, reported that in addition to the four homes that were destroyed, six sustained major damage, eight received minor damage and 12 were affected by the storm but are still able to be lived in.

In Rudd, the water treatment plant was totally destroyed and the public library sustained major damage, losing its roof, she said.

“We had help from Cerro Gordo EMA (Emergency Management Agency), and also Bremer. They were very nice. They actually came out and assessed some of the damage” she said.

There were 117 people who signed up to volunteer to help on Thursday after the storm, and about 115 on Friday, she said, adding, “It was really moving.”

Solomon said “lots and lots and lots” of food was donated, as well as water, not just for the volunteers but for anybody in the community who wanted it.

“People were calling, asking what they could do. We had dump trucks, chain saws,” she said.

One immediate need was for everyday essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels and personal hygiene products, she said.

“One of the credit unions in Mason City came in and gave diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, bags and bags of toothpaste, deodorant. Somebody donated heavy boxes to put all the stuff in,” she said.

Volunteers also came from Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock school district, and the district donated a pallet of water and opened up its facilities for people to take showers, providing transportation to and from the school as well.

Going into the weekend about half of the town still did not have power, Solomon said, but she understood it had been restored by Monday.

Adam Sears, county conservation director, said there didn’t appear to be any significant damage to county conservation facilities.

“Ackley Creek, the shower house, took a little hit, but we were able to fix that in like an hour with just some new shingles and blackjack, so it wasn’t going to amount to anything,” he said.

There was significant tree damage around the county, he said, including in county parks and recreation areas.

“It’s going to take us a couple of weeks to really get our hands around everything that happened and to get things back to normal,” he said.

“Tosanak and Wentland Woods is going to take quite a while. Mathers Woods, some of those are going to take some time, really to know the extent of the damage on all 3,000-plus acres, because some of it’s just wild anyway,” he said.

“In the park areas there’s quite a few uprooted and trees down, because they’re more kind of open areas right there. It’s not like heavy timber. Going into Christmas and New Year that’s what we’ll be working on a lot, and hopefully the week after New Year we’ll be in better shape as far as opening things back up,” Sears said.

Supervisor Doug Kamm said he had talked to Supervisor Tim Laube in the county secondary roads department Monday morning, “and he thought the only thing they had was trees across roads, and he thought they were pretty well done with that. He thought they had about $8,000 dollars in labor and material.”

Supervisor Linda Tjaden said she wanted to give credit to area media that helped inform people about the approaching storm several days in advance.

“Thank goodness we’ve got that ability to get that information out as soon as we can,” she said. “I’m hoping that contributed maybe to nobody being injured.”

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