Nearly a year after tornado in Muscatine two places hit hard have recovered with community support

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MUSCATINE, Iowa - Playing for the congregation at Wesley United Methodist Church hasn't been the same for organist Sally Potter since the tornado last March.

"It was devastating, you don't expect to come and see sky where the organ used to be," said Potter.

The organ was the largest in the state when it was built back in the 1980's.

It's the only thing missing from this church which was fully renovated by last November.

"It's just a big part of who I am that were not able to fulfill right now, so it makes it all the better to think about when we will be able to have the instrument and those things again," said Potter.

Now the church will soon be complete, they signed a contract with a Massachusetts company to build a new church organ.

"I celebrated because it's a big decision, I don't spend $2 million every day or sign a contract for the church to do that," said Potter.

That same tornado also left an impact next door, the homeless shelter run by the Muscatine Center for Social Action was also ripped apart that night.

"Unbelievably no one was hurt and that was the biggest blessing that night," said Charla Schafer, Executive Director.

Another blessing, everything has been repaired, even Kevin Oosting's room where he was asleep that night as the tornado blew out his window and collapsed his ceiling.

"I lost some things some knick-knacks and stuff that were sitting up there, amazing enough the only damage, you probably can't see it, the only damage is just a little knick on the TV screen probably from one of these pieces of metal," said Oosting.

People like Kevin became homeless again, living in temporary homes for more than three months.

The $60,000 it cost to make repairs came from insurance, a local trust fund and the people of Muscatine.

"Muscatine is very much like that, they come together and they take care with the community, MCSA wouldn't exist without the community support," said Schafer.

"There's been a huge amount of support from the community that have worked together," said Potter.

Wesley saw that same love with donations for their sanctuary and organ.

In early 2019 the organ will being to be installed and should be ready for use by Fall of 2019.

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