Former Parkersburg police chief reflects on deadly twister 10 years ago today

Parkersburg, Iowa – Today marks the tenth anniversary of the massive, killer tornado that destroyed much of the northeast Iowa town of Parkersburg. Chris Luhring, who’s now Parkersburg’s city administrator, was the police chief on that terrible Sunday in 2008. Luring says local police, firefighters and other first responders were immediately on the job after the storm hit, but they were in over their heads.

Luring says he has no idea how many people lent a hand in the hours, days and weeks after the twister hit.

Luhring says there will be no formal observance for the tenth anniversary of the tornado today.

The National Weather Service said the tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide with winds of up to 205 miles an hour. More than 400 homes were damaged or destroyed. The tornado killed seven people in Parkersburg and two others in Hartford, leaving at least 70 injured.

In the past decade, Luhring says the community has bounced back. Parkersburg is now the home of a new $2.3 million sports complex and several new businesses, including a hotel and a car dealership.


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