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Lake City, IA Receives Donation from Storm Chaser Charity

Lake City, IA Receives Donation from Storm Chaser Charity

On May 10th, 2015, an EF-1 tornado touched down in the town of Lake City, IA.  Lake City is one of those rural towns that most Iowans probably couldn’t pinpoint on a map.  Lake City is describes as a “tenacious little town” that still boasts its own hardware store, grocer and library.  Officials said the tornado struck town at about 7:25 p.m. leaving a path of damage about two blocks wide.  Pink insulation was strewn more than five miles north of town.  Storm damage had blocked a stretch of Iowa Highway 175 , between county roads N28 and N47 in Lake City.  No injuries or fatalities were reported, thankfully.

Storm Chaser & Stormtrack faculty member, Todd Rector made the drive to Lake City, IA to deliver a $1000 donation.  Here is Todd’s story:


When entering Lake City, Iowa, you may notice the sign that says “Lake City – Everything but a Lake”.

As of May 10th, that sign could also read “Everything but a Lake, and a few roofs,” because around 7:30 pm that evening, the town was hit by an EF-1 tornado. Mayor Gary Fahan watched it from his porch.  He says it’s a “miracle” nobody was hurt because it tore the roof off the high school while an awards ceremony with about 150 people was in progress.


Photo/Twitter user @Lehighs_Finest


Photo/Twitter user @austinjacobs

“They had baccalaureate going on at the high school in the auditorium and it took the roof off of the auditorium but the kids and everybody got down into the basement and they all come out unscathed,” Fahan says. “We’re thankful for that.”


Courtesy of Todd Rector

Lake City has a population of less than 2,000 people, so when I went to meet mayor Fahan in his office it wasn’t much of a surprise that he didn’t actually have an office. Arriving promptly at the scheduled time (in a city building on the town square), the mayor was wearing a bright yellow “Nike – Just Do It” shirt. I love it! Everything about this little town says “casual” and “friendly.”  After meeting other people in the city building/police department, it became obvious to me that what this little town lacks in size, it makes up for with a strong sense of community and caring for each other.


Courtesy of Todd Rector


Courtesy of Todd Rector

After chatting for a few minutes and talking about Storm Assist and chasing in general, the check exchanged hands and my wife and I took a short tour of the city to view damage.


Courtesy of Todd Rector

As a chaser from central Iowa, I was out chasing that day in far NW Iowa and even took a brief dip into South Dakota for a weak funnel. My partner and I were heading back home that evening when we saw the storm system that hit Lake City from about 30 miles away. We decided not to pursue it because it was heading in the opposite direction from home, plus we were running out of daylight.

Lake City is close to home for me, so when I was contacted by Storm Assist to present a check on their behalf, I was honored to do so and very grateful Storm Assist was helping “MY” people – people who are practically my neighbors.

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