On May 25, 2008 an EF 5 tornado went through Parkersburg, Iowa causing devastating destruction and 8 deaths. Debris from Parkersburg has been found as far as 100 miles away. This tornado headed east and caused more damage along the way until it dissipated. Originally it was thought that it continued further but another tornado actually formed near the town of Fairbank, which is about 10 miles east of where I live in Oelwein. This tornado changed direction shortly after leaving Fairbank - had it not, it would have hit Oelwein. It did come close though - Hazleton is about 5 miles away. We had some debris falling around our home and then the tornado sirens went off. We headed to the basement then it became very dark outside, we knew the tornado was passing by then. The electricity went out because some power lines went down in Hazleton. After it passed we all came upstairs but were concerned about the possibility of another tornado and with the power out in the entire town how would the sirens go off again? Fortunately the worst had passed and the lights finally came back on. The next day we drove through Hazleton to see the damage. We were lucky!
Here is a map of the tornado path, see how close we came?
You can also see many photos and stories of the damage here:
I've realized how lucky we were and how close we came to having a tornado come through our town - there hasn't been one here since 1968. Of course, it could still happen, tornado season lasts until October! After seeing all of this take place I wanted to do something to help and I came up with this idea: to raffle off some of my finished shawls.
All of the proceeds of the raffle - less PayPal fees and shipping costs - will go towards helping these communities. I will be selling "tickets" until July 3, 2008 and I will choose the winners by random drawing on July 4, 2008. All winners will be notified by email and their names will be posted here as well as the blog I have set up specifically for the raffle: Tornado Raffle