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After a second tornado damages the town, Minden is still rebuilding



Minden, Iowa – In the Pottawattamie County community of Minden, an EF-3 tornado nearly two weeks ago destroyed houses and businesses.

“We lost our water plant, 90% of our business district is gone,” said mayor Kevin Zimmerman. “35 to 40% of our homes are either damaged or not livable.”

More extreme weather, including another tornado with an EF-1 preliminary rating, hit Monday night as residents attempted to rebuild what had been lost. Although a hog confinement and seven town properties sustained damage, fortunately no injuries were reported. A few barns and trees were damaged, but there was no significant damage to any of the nearby residences. There were power disruptions in the neighborhood as a result of several power poles snapping. Nearby Neola had power restored by midnight, while Minden had it back by three in the morning on Tuesday.

“Tuesday morning HyVee Disaster Relief showed up with some more generators,” Zimmerman said. “Those generators are going to sit there until we’re done with them.”

According to Zimmerman, Minden received additional generators from Hy-Vee’s Disaster Relief team, which the city will use for as long as necessary.

The detour on Monday night, he added, isn’t causing them to regress.

“They know it’s stressful they know it’s this and that, but most of them say they’re coming back,” Zimmerman said. “They’re going to build a house, they’re going to remodel their house and the business is the same, It’s just going to be a hard year.”

The town’s water wells are gradually pumping water once more, and neighborhood organizations are still offering necessities and services.

“Having to worry where your food is coming from, or where you’re going to sleep, or where you’re going to find the support is the last thing they should have to worry about,” said Anna Killpack, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Southwest Iowa chapter.

From Sunday, May 12, NAMI will continue to provide resources in Minden. Regarding the recovery period, Zimmerman projects that the municipality will need about three years to repair their power generators, water plant, and a few other facilities.