A nonprofit group that rehabilitates homes plans to repair 100 that were devastated in the Marshalltown tornado last July.
Over a five-day period in late April, Habitat for Humanity of Iowa will work on critical home repairs like replacing roofs, siding, and front porches for 30 to 40 homes hit hard by the tornado. The “blitz build” is the kick-off to their goal of repairing 100 homes by the end of the year.
Cassie Nemmers, the Marshalltown outreach coordinator for the organization, says they want to help the city get back to what it used to be.
“I think Marshalltown won’t truly be the same for the next 20 to 30 years, but our goal is to keep chugging along, doing as many homes as we can, helping as many families as we can,” Nemmers said.
The city estimates the tornado significantly damaged or destroyed close to 330 homes and affected around 1,800 homes in total. A federal program helped them make temporary emergency repairs. Marshalltown Housing and Community Development Director Michelle Spohnheimer says from what she’s heard from other cities, it could take five years to fully recover.
“It’s not an overnight effort and we fully expect that, especially due to the scale that we were looking at of damages across,” Spohnheimer said. “We’ve seen a lot of housing repairs, we have a lot of wonderful organizations and agencies already operating in the community.”
Spohnheimer said the blitz build will "play a significant role" in the city's ongoing efforts to rebuild.
The blitz build is planned for April 23 through 27.