Iowa Town Measures Loss After Tornado

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WASHINGTON - Disaster teams are still searching for victims after a string of tornadoes ravaged parts of the Midwest over the weekend. At least seven people were killed.

One twister virtually wiped out a small town in Iowa.

Town Left Desolate

The tornadoes may be gone for now, but for people in the devastated town of Parkersburg, Iowa there are many other things gone as well.

"Memories are gone… I mean, (we) raised our children here," tornado survivor Sharon Schipper said.

There's a nighttime curfew in place in this small Iowa town. All that remains is devastation and massive cleanup.

The only grocery store in town is gone. So are the two banks, the lone gas station, and high school.

"You really are overwhelmed when you see it," Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said Monday after touring the Parkersburg area. "You can't imagine this kind of devastation, homes completely gone. And to see people trying to sort through their belongings is very difficult."

With this area now declared a disaster area, federal assistance is on the way.

But with six dead and 600 homes destroyed, the people here know it's time to pull together.

Neighbors Pull Together

Nevertheless, Iowans are a resilient bunch who have each other's back. Just ask Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.

"As you can see they are already pulling together. The wonderful thing about Iowa is people do come together. They help their friends, they help their neighbors," Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said.

Culver said, "We will rally, we will work together, we will get through this. But certainly our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this natural disaster. Now it's our job to work together to as responsive as we can."

Killer tornadoes have been a serious problem this year.

Already close to 100 people have died - the worst in a decade - and tornado season is far from over.

Storms over the weekend struck everywhere from Texas to Minnesota.

In Hugo, Minnesota - north of St. Paul - the residents there are also dealing with a tornado mess after twisters rumbled through their town.

A 2-year-old girl died which has people in town a little emotional.

"We don't know the exact details but as a father of three children myself I gave them a hug when I got home last night," Hugo administrator Mike Ericson.

Sometimes when disaster strikes that all you can do.and pray.

One survivor said, "I can't even really describe it, it was so terrifying, I was just praying to God to please protect us."

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