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Strength, resilience are Marshalltown hallmarks

Marshalltown Strong made its reappearance in full force after Monday’s derecho storm.

The 99 mph winds and torrential rains brought back memories of the July 2018 tornado. The trauma of the tornado came back to residents as they heard the wind roar through neighborhoods and debris smash into exterior walls. It was far too similar, uncomfortably so.

Homeowners who were dealt catastrophic tornado damage received another round of nature’s wrath. Businesses devastated by the 2018 beating started another process of assessments and insurance claims all over again.

The treasured and historic Marshall County Courthouse stood in the face of Monday’s onslaught surrounded by scaffolding and construction materials which were blown across the lawn. The structure received damage, but not to the scale of tornado damage. As the derecho’s wind died and the rain dissipated, the majestic but beaten courthouse remained.

Immediately after the storm lifted, people at work raced to their homes and contacted loved ones.

Marshalltown has certainly been through a lot in the last two years. First the tornado, which devastated the community. Then the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused numerous businesses to close and the Marshalltown Community School District to close. Now, the derecho which knocked out electricity across the city, tore roofs from homes, broke out windows of cars and businesses, ripped trees from the roots, snapped electric poles in half and trapped drivers in their cars.

But we are Marshalltown Strong. We knew what had to be done. Yet again, the citizens of Marshalltown refused to roll over.

We called 911 to get help to those who were trapped. We rolled up our sleeves, pulled out our chainsaws and began moving debris and fallen trees from our neighbors yards.

We found tools to help board up windows, grabbed brooms from closets to sweep up the shards of glass littering the sidewalks and pavements. We put on our work gloves and helped pick up the building debris of collapsed sheds and roofs. We began communicating information about where people can buy fuel, where they can get hot meals and how to keep cool. We made space in our freezers to help others preserve food and cleared space in our homes to add friends and family in need. All because we are Marshalltown Strong.

Mother Nature drug us into the fighting ring again. We took the beating and are still standing. Marshalltown is a community of resilience, of caring and support, of strength and fortitude.

We will overcome. We are Marshalltown Strong.

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