Residents of Wayne keep at it this week, recovering from what the National Weather Service now categorizes as an EF4 tornado.
The tornado caused widespread damage to houses and businesses in Wayne when it hit the edge of the city at around 5:30pm Friday. The tornado hit the airport particularly hard.
It could have been worse.
Wayne Mayor Ken Chamberlain says the city could not have been luckier that it was Friday night.
“As bad as things are, for a one-mile-wide city to get hit by a two-mile-wide F4 and have no fatalities, one serious injury out of the whole thing. I’ll take that,” Chamberlain tells reporters during a news conference.
One person suffered serious injury. Wayne State College reports its Chief Information Officer, John Dunning, got pinned against his vehicle by a dumpster while trying to flee to a ditch. A passenger in the car made it to the ditch safely and rode out the storm.
Dunning is listed in stable condition in a Sioux City hospital. Chamberlain says though Dunning’s recovery will be long, his prognosis is good.
Chamberlain praises the response of city workers to the tornado, stating that the credit for lessening the impact of the storm must go, in part, to the police officers, firefighters, public works department, as well as other city and county workers who quickly responded once the storm passed.
Chamberlain says his top priority is to get the hundreds left without a job to go to on Monday morning back to work.
Sightseers caused problems with recovery efforts this weekend.
Chamberlain says gawkers Sunday created a mess.
“A mess of people driving to one end of the storm damage and turning around on the highway and driving back,” Chamberlain explains. “I know it’s interesting to look at. I know it’s fascinating and I know it doesn’t happen here very often. I’m thankful for the fact that it doesn’t. Please, if you don’t have business being out there; please stay out of the affected area.”
Volunteers are needed to help manage the debris, both in Wayne and in the agricultural land nearby. The Red Cross is handling the volunteers, and people can go to the Red Cross center at the National Guard Armory in Wayne or use the 211 system to register.
Susan Risinger, WJAG, contributed to this story.