Tornado causes estimated $3 million in damage to Iowa dairy farm - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Tornado causes estimated $3 million in damage to Iowa dairy farm

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A lot of people are cleaning up after a tornado near Hospers, Iowa Sunday.

One large dairy farm saw the most damage—preliminary estimates by the Sioux County Emergency manager show approximately $2.5 to $3 million in damage caused by this tornado.

“Its just amazing I mean huge pieces are just crumpled up. There’s stuff in the trees, the field, everywhere. Just a few seconds of time and everything is just destroyed,” said neighbor Anne Phillips.

Along with all of the destruction, the dairy farmer’s first focus was taking care of their livestock.

“When it hit last night, it was during milking and cows have to ne milked no matter which way. So they were milking them out in the open and using what generators they could to set up the milking equipment,” said Phillips.

“People were going around rounding [the cattle] up. I know they were on four-wheelers and gators…and that mile stretch in front of the dairy, it was both sides full of cars and the equipment that came in—people were just amazing,” said Deb Davelaar, the mother and Grandma of one family that lived on the dairy farm.

Davelaar says she called her daughter to warn her family about the dangerous whether headed their way.

“I saw all the weather warnings on KSFY so I called the house and it’s kind of an ongoing joke because grandmas calling and grandmas worried...but then 20 minutes later we got a call from [my daughter] saying we’ve been hit,” said Davelaar.

Davelaar says her daughter said it sounded like a freight train as the tornado passed over the storm cellar, wreaking havoc on the structures above. But in the aftermath of this tornado, everyone is simply thankful their family made it to safety.

“I’m just here for my grand babies and I’m so glad they’re safe…we have our family, property is no big deal as long as everybody’s safe—including the milkers that were in the dairy when it hit, we have a lot to be thankful for,” said Davelaar.

They’re also thankful for a community full of support to help pick up the pieces after the storm.

“It’s a big job, but that’s one of the things, everyone in the community just shows up and starts working, no questions asked,” said Phillips.

After working all through the night, even more volunteers came out to help sort through the wreckage Monday.

“It’s really overwhelming that they have this many friends and complete strangers coming to help,” said Davelaar.

She said several people have just come out to drop off food and drinks for volunteers at the farm. Other complete strangers have come out to offer a hand wherever help is needed.

“I don’t know how many different people have shown up to help with the cows and with the milking, people from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa just show up and put on a pair of gloves and start working,” said Phillips.

It will likely take several weeks to clean up before they can think about rebuilding, but the Davelaar says it will all go much faster with such wonderful neighbors helping out.

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