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Iowans mount a "Farm Strong" response to devastating tornadoes

Bondurant, Iowa tornado
Pictured: a tornado that struck Bondurant on July 19. Photo courtesy of Kristen Wonderlin.

At about 3 p.m. on Thursday, I sent a message to our daycare provider in Bondurant.

“Tornado warning in Bondurant. Tornado spotted there,” I said.

“Clubhouse,” she replied, referring to the kids safe in the basement. Our son was in another town with Grandma, but I wanted to be sure she heard the warning amongst the chaos of caring for children.

A couple minutes later, I saw photos of the tornadoes ripping through our town, just weeks after flood waters wreaked havoc there.

Our house was fine; others weren’t so lucky. Then there were reports from Pella and Marshalltown. Vermeer Corporation was hit, severe damage was reported in Marshalltown.

But just as soon as it hit, our phones and social media lit up making sure people were safe. Family and friends checked in on us, we were safe. We checked on other friends, they were safe. Their house was not. And then Iowans did what they do best. They pitched in. They started picking up debris, volunteered to watch children while their parents began to deal with the aftermath of the tornadoes.

Restaurants stayed open late to take care of their customers. A local coffee company made breakfast and started handing it out Friday morning. It’s times like this that I know Iowa Nice is still alive and well.

The National Weather Service confirmed that 27 tornadoes hit Iowa on Thursday. The communities impacted — our friends — have a lot of cleaning up to do. We’ll be there to help, because that’s what Iowans, do. We’re Farm Strong. It’s about sticking together, supporting each other in the good days and bad. We’re grateful to those who have reached out, and we are proud of our community. We can’t wait to see how our town rebuilds.

By Bethany Baratta. Bethany is Iowa Farm Bureau's Commodities Writer.