Helping tornado victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Helping tornado victims

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Families looking to rebuild after their town is hit by a damaging tornado.

An EF2 tornado hit Vinton on Sunday morning , with winds hitting 130 miles an hour. It caused serious damage to trees, homes, apartment buildings and even the Benton County fairgrounds.

Families affected by Sunday's tornado gathered at Vinton Shellsburg High School learning more about how deal with the destruction caused by the storm.

Roofs completely torn off, people's lives, completely torn apart.

"The whole roof is gone still over there, I wasn't here when it happened and I am glad I wasn't," said April Steinford, pointing out the damage. 

April Steinford lived with her family on the first floor, her upstairs neighbor's lost their roof, her friend had a window break in her face.

"She said that she got basically a face full of glass," said Steinford.

A mother says her daughter was in the apartment during the tornado, the apartment complex is now unrecognizable.

"The roofs were blown off, completely off, walls were caved in. Some of the floors were a little lower than what they were supposed to be, that whole side of the building, like the upstairs their stuff was trashed," said Alyssa Varner, Vinton.

Blown away by the damage and the hardships coming with it.

"It like blew me away, it didn't really hit at first until you know we all had to be at the high school and then you know I didn't think it was going to be that hard to find a new place," said Varner.

Trying to keep her family in Vinton, searching for somewhere to live.

"It's been really hard to find a new place, I mean there's nothing out there," said Varner.

The main goal of the meeting today to help families find news homes.

"The biggest need is the housing and we know that, we've known that since Sunday," said Scott Hansen, Benton County Emergency Management Coordinator. 

Hansen says fifty-six total apartment units were damaged, forty-eight of those had families living in them.

The main goal of the emergency management team is to keep these families in Vinton so when the apartments are repaired, they can return to their homes.

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