One year after Vinton tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

One year after Vinton tornado

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As communities recover from recent tornadoes, others are remembering their own battles with mother nature.

One year ago, an EF-2 tornado ripped through Vinton, destroying an apartment building.

The tornado hitting early that morning, but thankfully no one was injured. 

Just yards from where the tornado took out that apartment building, the Benton County Fair was underway.

Countless livestock and 4-H/FFA families were on the fairgrounds that morning.

"The camper started wobbling. My wife got up and she said, 'I am going home.' We live in town. She didn't even get her shoes on," said Dick Meyer, President of the Benton County Fair Board.

 Nearly a hundred campers were on the grounds that morning; the tornado just missing them.

"Then we came down and saw the devastation. Fortunately, the thing curved just right and it went across the street; unfortunately for all the apartments over there. . . Minor to what this could have been," said Meyer.

A year later, the haunting image remains at the apartments, where little has been done to clean up the building. But just yards away from where a building was damaged on the county grounds 4-H continues to grow.

"We started three days after the fair, taking the three buildings down," said Benton County Fair Board member Dale Seeck.

Along with repairing the damage to some buildings, the county replaced three 70-year-old barns with a new $200,000 state-of-the-art beef barn.

The barn was finished just in the nick of time for 4-Hers and their cattle to move in Wednesday.

The families are hoping for better weather this year.

The Benton County Fair will be hosting events for everyone through Sunday.


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