The deadly storms that cut through the country over the weekend and the changing season here in the heartland are stark reminders of the threat from tornadoes. Thurman, Iowa knows it all too well.
One of the last big tornado strikes in our area devastated Thurman two years ago. An EF-3 tornado hammered the town.
A number of homes that had been destroyed have since been rebuilt, including the one that belongs to Sandra Umphrey.
She told us, “If we had been home, we probably would have been killed."
A tree fell, crushing the master bedroom's closet where the Umphreys go in case of a tornado.
“It's real heavy,” she said. “If you can feel this door, it's real heavy."
With the new house built where the old one was flattened, Sandra and her family now have a quick access tornado shelter bolted into the cement floor of their garage and she said, “This can withstand an EF-5."
Their neighbors have one too.
Thurman's city park, which was obliterated in the storm, has been completely redone. It will take a while for the trees to provide shade again. The evidence of the damaged church is still there.
Many will never get the images out of their head from the twister two years ago. When the skies darkened Sunday, when the hail began to fall, Sandra thought, “Oh please don't let us have any tornadoes. It's scary after you've been through one. It’s sad. Unfortunately we can't control them. I wish we could have more of a warning. It's bad that people don't have a safe place to go to."
While no one was killed or injured in Thurman two years ago, their advice for other communities in the path of destruction: the sun will rise again. When the media spotlight leaves and the donations subside you have each other.
Sandra said, "A lot of things have changed but things are getting better. People are moving forward with their lives."