McGregor Tornado Recovery Efforts

Jul 26, 2017

An EF-1 tornado with winds over 100 mph ripped through the town of McGregor last week, leaving behind a path of destruction through the town's historic main street district.

Credit Katie Ruff

The president of the local chamber of commerce, Katie Ruff, says two buildings have been demolished in the Mississippi River community and most downtown businesses are open again.

“We do have a majority of our businesses up and running," says Ruff. "Our pharmacy up the street, he said give him till the end of the week. They did receive quite a bit of damage to their building, so they’re getting it turned around pretty quickly."

Ruff says no damage estimate has been determined yet.

The head of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center says he plans to send a group of people to McGregor to discuss ways of continuing the recovery and also preserving the Mississippi River community’s historic character.  

While there were no fatalities during the storm, 72-year-old resident Roger Witter was killed when his tractor rolled over on top of him as he was cleaning up debris in the aftermath.

On this River to River segment, host Ben Kieffer talks with Ruff, as well as Jim Engle, director of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, and Parkersburg Mayor Perry Bernard, whose town was hit by a EF-5 tornado in 2008.