Home for the holidays after tornado - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Home for the holidays after tornado


NEW HARTFORD (KWWL) Back in June we introduced you to the Grapp family of New Hartford.

The tornado took the lives of Shelli Grapp's two horses and landed their neighbor's boat in the side of their house.

A week after the tornado, friends helped the family clean-up.

In the middle of November, the Grapps finally moved back in to their New Hartford home, but it's not the same as pre-tornado.

"I don't want to say I'm superstitious, but I didn't want everything the same. I wanted to have a whole new beginning. I think change is good," said Shelli Grapp.

The Grapps changed the layout of their house, changed the siding, and added a sun room.

Shelli, her husband Darren and their teenage daughter Taylor lived in a 30 foot camper while contractors worked on their house.

"Five months is five months too long. It's a nice weekend thing, but to live in it everyday, it's not any fun," said Grapp.

Much like her house, Shelli Grapp is slowly recovering. She lost two horses in the tornado. Now she has three new ones.

"It'll never replace the ones I lost but it fills a void. I can't describe the feeling I have when I look out the backyard and see them. It makes me happy," said Grapp.

There's still pain and remnants of the tornado's destruction, but there's also a lot to be thankful for.

"In the positive light the tornado's changed me in the respect I really value the people in my life. For us to be back in our house to celebrate Thanksgiving with those that we love, it's going to be a great feeling," said Grapp.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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