Governor Reynolds Surveys Tornado Damage in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Iowa  --  Cleaning after a storm is becoming routine for the residents of Knoxville. 

“It’s been crazy,” said resident Candy Roff. “We are just trying to get back to normal.” 

Wednesday’s severe storms mark the third time they’ve had to cleanup in just three weeks. 

“They are not saying ‘oh, woe is me.’ This is some bad stuff, but they are out there working and taking care of it,” said Governor Reynolds. 

The governor made her first trip Knoxville to meet the people affected, survey damage, and offer support. 

“We stand ready to help, and if they need it we are certainly there. That is the message we have also given to the homeowners. If there is anything else we can do or any help, don't hesitate to reach out to us," said Governor Reynolds.

One of the people she met was Mike Chambers, who has lived in that area for more than 40 years. Chambers' farm was in the path of storm, and he saw considerable damage. He doesn’t remember a string of storms hitting like the latest one, which is what he told the governor when they met on Friday. 

“It’s nice to know that there is someone aware of what’s going on. That they are not just in a whole different world than what we are. It’s good to see people at the grassroots levels,” said Chambers. 

Governor Reynolds spent approximately three hours in Knoxville, and the biggest item she walked away with was just how resilient these Iowans are.

“It’s instinct, and it’s what makes me proud to be an Iowan and to have the opportunity to serve this state. They are great people. Hardworking, I mean, they're out there digging in already,” said Reynolds. 

Knoxville resident Candy Roff is a prime example of what Governor Reynolds was describing; Roff has been out cleaning for the last two days. 

“We we either have to find a place to rent or a place to live for now. We are working on that. We are staying in a hotel now, but we have good support and they are working with me to get things done,” she said. 

The storms did a number on many homes, but the governor is grateful there were no injuries. 

“It’s not good, so I don’t want to minimize the damage that has been done. It could have been even worse. We had a lot of tornadoes happening and hitting down across the state. So we’ve been very lucky, statewide, there have been no fatalities at all,” said Governor Reynolds.