Iowa City hit by one of five Iowa tornadoes five years ago - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City hit by one of five Iowa tornadoes five years ago

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The National Weather Service said at least five tornadoes touched down in eastern Iowa April 13, 2006.  A state of emergency was declared in Johnson, Muscatine and Jones Counties.  One woman was killed when a tornado swallowed a mobile home near Nichols.

One of those tornadoes was an F-2 in strength.  It swept a four-mile path of destruction through Iowa City, starting at Hwy 1 and Hwy 218 and passing through the city's downtown.  Iowa Ave. looked more like a lumberyard than a city street as many spectators walked around that evening to get a look at the damage.

Nobody was killed in Iowa City as a result of the storm, but the tornado destroyed houses, business, and part of the University of Iowa campus.  St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house were two buildings destroyed.

Both structures have since been rebuilt.  The sorority was built at the same location but the church was relocated east of the city.  At the new St. Patrick's, the chapel is constructed with bricks from the old church and the bell tower resembles the design of the previous buildings' roof.  The $12 million, 46,000 square foot facility provides more space and better accessibility.

Iowa City's Dairy Queen on Riverside Drive was also hit hard.  Inside, workers and a family of four survived, but the tornado leveled the building.  It has since been rebuilt. 

Iowa City wasn't the only place hit hard.  An F-1 tornado touched down southeast of Anamosa.  It left a six mile long path of destruction straight through the "lead mine" housing development.  More than 40 homes were damaged.

See how the damaged neighborhoods have rebuilt, and how one church destroyed by the tornado is marking the anniversary, tonight on the KWWL News and on KWWL.com.

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