Mentally recovering from a tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mentally recovering from a tornado

PARKERSBURG (KWWL) -- It's the frightening pictures we will never forget: an EF-5 tornado in May that ripped a path of destruction through Parkersburg, New Hartford and rural eastern Iowa. Now, almost six months have passed, but for many survivors to pick up the pieces, literally and figuratively, they need more time.

Jo Stock proudly shows off the house she and her husband just bought in Waterloo. After decades living in Parkersburg, they decided to make the move after the May 25th tornado destroyed their home.

"It was a hard decision to make," said Stock.

But the Stocks' two daughters and both their jobs are in the Cedar Valley, so they decided to relocate after 30 years in Parkersburg. They may have moved on, literally, but their emotions are still raw.

"It's hard for us to go out to Parkersburg and see the whole.. . (tears up)... I'm sorry," she choked.

And sleep isn't always welcome for her because of the dreams that come with it.

"I just wake up afraid," said Stock. "You know, I'll just startle and I'll wake up and be absolutely scared to death. Sometimes I can hear the noise from the tornado. Sometimes I think I hear a siren."

But Jo says finally she is having more happy than sad days. And though her family and friends are still having a tough time coping with life after the tornado, the 56-year-old says everyone is making progress.

"You know you have doubts," said Stock. "But I'm very hopeful that this'll feel like home again for us."

Jo says, like a lot of the tornado survivors, she is already talking with contractors about the safe room she wants built in her basement.

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