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Seymour Residents Rest, Show Gratitude for Support After Storm

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Seymour, Iowa (WHO-HD)

SEYMOUR, Iowa  —  The town of Seymour, Iowa, has faced a long week after being hit by an EF2 tornado on Monday.

Volunteers gathered to help residents clean up after the storm damaged and destroyed homes and businesses in the area.

On Sunday, the town took time to rest and show gratitude to each other and a higher power.

“We had the best turnout we’ve had since I’ve been a pastor here the last 20 months,” said Pastor Shawn LaRue of the Seymour United Methodist Church. “It seems appropriate given all the help and the outpouring of volunteers that we had, that we don’t want to forget those who lost property and their homes were damaged. But what we saw, the outpouring of support for people who don’t even have any ties to this community, was very uplifting in helping to restore and rebuild the community.”

The around-the-clock repairs of the storm damaged town stopped on Sunday morning for worship and fellowship at the United Methodist Church. The church sent out a message to the entire community on Facebook this week, inviting them to gather for an hour to look back and look ahead.

Churchgoers say they are focusing on what the storm did not do, instead of dwelling on its effects.

"The good Lord was good to this town of Seymour, keeping us safe and not letting a lot of damage hit us. We were just thankful, and I was so thankful for the blessings that he has given to this town," said Rose Ballanger.

While residents had a break from the cleanup, there is still plenty of work to be done in the town now that their morning of rest is over.

The town's school was too damaged to hold classes so a former car center is being remodeled and turned into classrooms. The district hopes to have that building open by next Monday.