RAGBRAI riders remember Parkersburg tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

RAGBRAI riders remember Parkersburg tornado

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PARKERSBURG (KWWL)-- Riders had to go through five towns before stopping in Waterloo Thursday and one of those towns was Parkersburg.

There were many requests from people to the RAGBRAI committee to have Parkersburg as a pass-through town, only because they wanted to celebrate the place that had been through so much.

The Fencls decided not to go to Jamaica or Cancun for their honeymoon, instead they're riding RAGBRAI.

"We love to exercise so this is a great opportunity for us to get out and enjoy what we love to do, but also celebrate our marriage," said Kecia Place-Fencl of Ames. 

As they entered Parkersburg, they immediately thought of the tornado.

"In fact we were going through the day of the tornado, and saw it off of Highway 20, so when we got home and heard what happened, we were shocked," said Fencl. 

"We said oh, it looks like its bad. And we were blessed to know that we missed it by five miles," said Tim Fencl.

But Thursday was a day of celebration as thousands of people enter the town, learning what happened that fateful day.

"RAGBRAI in itself is just a lot of people and its so much fun, and its great to see so many people get the support, and give support to Parkersburg," said Kecia Place-Fencl.

"I heard most the town was leveled a few years ago, so, that's huge that the town's able to recoup and do this, and hopefully RAGBRAI will help push the town back up," said Mike Amos, RAGBRAI vender.

Amos has worked RAGBRAIs for 13 years. He says he keeps coming back because of the people, and Parkersburg is no different.

"I love the people, love the atmosphere... Its just a good time. If somebody wants to have a good time and see something they've never seen before, this is definitely it," said Amos.

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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