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'Some people have it a lot worse than we do': In Shelby, families hit by tornadoes think of others

Posted at 1:54 PM, Apr 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-30 15:15:34-04

SHELBY, Iowa (KMTV) — On Friday, I was reporting on another story in Harrison County when severe weather swept through the region. As I drove south, towards Minden, the first serious destruction I saw was in Shelby County. On Sunday, I went back to that community because I couldn't stop thinking about all the Shelby-area neighbors I witnessed helping each other in the immediate aftermath.

Volunteers at the Shelby firehouse were helping to feed those affected by the storm. They were all conscious that Minden, approximately seven miles away, was hit much harder. Still, plenty of rural families near Shelby suffered serious storm damage. I spoke to Andy Newland, a farmer and construction worker, who watched the storm strike his neighbor's house before taking cover with his girlfriend.


Iowa tornado damage in Shelby and Minden


Folks here in Shelby know that they were relatively fortunate compared to some of their neighbors in Minden.

I’m your southwest Iowa neighborhood reporter Katrina Markel and just because Shelby wasn’t hit has hard as Minden. It doesn’t mean that these neighbors aren’t also suffering.

Andy Newland and his girlfriend live in rural Shelby – less than 10 miles from Minden...

“We lost our machine shed, shop, garage, all of the trees...”

They consider themselves fortunate because the house can be repaired.
“We’ll be back in our house once we get stuff cleaned up.”

They watched the funnel hit their neighbors’ house first, then ran for cover.

At the Shelby fire station, volunteers were feeding neighbors...

“Meals to anybody who needs it, who has been displaced or, just needs it,” said Shelby Fire and Rescue Capt. Karen Schlueter.

Hospitality and humility...

“We have a mess, but some people have it a lot worse than we do,” said Newland.

Neighbors in need can also find help at the food pantry on Main Street.