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Cleanup underway after damaging storms strike southeast Iowa

Residents of hard-hit southeastern Iowa have begun cleaning up after storms swept through the region Thursday night.

The storms drilled a path of destruction straight through a turkey farm just outside of Wayland, pulling down sheds and barns and fences.

In Crawfordsville, Iowa, Irvin Laichty surveyed the damage and planned for cleanup early Friday.  He said he thinks it was a tornado that tore through the area.

“Oh, definitely. It flipped a car across the road, upside down, garage completely gone, took the light pole out, took the trees – just twisted them out.”

A shed was literally blown to pieces, with its tin walls thrown and landing on an antique tractor and mangled metal wrapped into the head of a combine.

A wagon was flipped onto its side, the top of a grain bin ripped apart, and there were power poles pushed over.

Laichty says his house, a mile away from the damaged farm, escaped untouched.

“It just seemed like it turned and came right down 34, come right towards us, missed us. We’re lucky people,” Laichty said.

Lucky is the word of the day in the Crawfordsville area. No deaths and no injuries from a severe storm on a relentless route.

“This all can be fixed. We’re lucky and don’t know it,” said Laichty.  He says today he feels good to be the one helping rather than the one needing help.

The National Weather Service of the Quad Cities is expected to survey the damage Friday to determine if a tornado actually touched down in that area.

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