Historic Iowa City neighborhood recovers from 2006 tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Historic Iowa City neighborhood recovers from 2006 tornado


It was April 13, 2006 when a tornado hit the heart of Iowa City.
The twister swept a four-mile path, starting at Highway 1, and 218, passing through the city's downtown.

Even though the storm moved through the populated area, no one was killed.

The storm took aim at a neighborhood more than 100 years old.  Hundreds of trees uprooted, roofs torn off, a handful of homes damaged beyond repair.

One of the hardest hit areas, the 900 block of Iowa Avenue, which was littered with debris left behind from the tornado.

Genalie Swaim, who lives in Iowa City's Woodlawn Historic District, is just a block away from the hard hit area.   Yet her home sustained what she calls only minor damage in comparison.

"It was really sad because these old houses have stood here for more than 100 years or more and then mother nature decides, okay, here we go."

But five years later, the neighborhood has been restored.

"It's encouraging to see how well they've bounced back."

Many of the affected homes were located in designated historic districts, as a result, these homeowners received financial aid that helped reimburse their repair costs.

City leaders say the preservation of neighborhoods like these is important.

Christina Keucker, Iowa City Assistant Planner said "It attaches everyone, who lives downtown, works downtown, travels through downtown to our history and where we came from."

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