Rudd community sees strong support as tornado cleanup continues

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 1:10 PM CST
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RUDD, Iowa (KTTC) – People have united across states to continue clean up efforts nearly two weeks after a tornado ripped through the small city of Rudd, Iowa.

The Rudd Library was one of the buildings that was hardest hit. The roof was torn off, and the interior sustained extensive damage.

Since the tornado, Library Director Shelly Sharp says the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

A GoFundMe account has raised more than $9,000. Sharp said she set up a little library in city hall, with one shelf of books that people can check out. She said women also play cards there now on Wednesdays.

“We have a lot of avid readers here in town, we have a lot of kids that come in after school and during the summer,” Sharp said. “I am still getting magazine subscriptions in the mail. I just wanted to provide something in the form of some kind of normalcy for everyone.”

The Rudd Historical Society Museum was also damaged. Volunteers have been working everyday to try to recover artifacts that have been strewn around the area.

Historical Society President Joyce Navratil said she’s amazed at how some items survived the storm.

“Somebody came up to me the day that they were going combing through the debris and handed me a purple heart that had been awarded to a Rudd resident who died during WWII,” she said. “This was in one of the display cases that had been demolished. I’ve been handed other boxes that were for medals and I am not sure if we will ever find all the medals.”

First Security Bank in Charles City has accounts set up for the library and the museum for people to make monetary donations.

Both women said it will be a while before they know the total cost of damages, as insurance adjusters are still working on claims. They said it’s not clear when they will be able to rebuild.

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