MUSCATINE, Iowa — A Monday night storm tore through homes and other buildings in Muscatine, leaving residents to deal with the damage.
On Tuesday, residents are talking to their insurance companies, staying with relatives and helping each other clean up the debris littering the streets.
Wesley United Methodist Church, on Fourth Street near downtown Muscatine, was hit. The storm destroyed the organ that Katie Roquet, the director of media ministries at the church, said was the largest organ in the Midwest when it was installed and still the largest in a Methodist church.
High winds caused a chimney to crash through the roof, but Roquet said the old stained-glass windows in the building appear to have survived with no major damage.
"There are some cracks on the outside, but other than that we haven't seen any damage," she said.
The church will let people know if any help is needed, after the damage has been assessed and insurance consulted.
Six windows were blown out on the Muscatine Center for Social Action, and some of the siding, which was put on the building when it was remodeled about 15 years ago, was also torn off.
Maggie Curry, the housing director at MCSA, said 70 men, women and children were in the building when the storm hit, but no one was injured. Early Tuesday morning, people living in the building and passers-by, including City Councilman Scott Natvig, were out sweeping up the glass and debris littering the street.
"It's amazing how everybody comes together," Curry said.
People came together to sift through debris at a home near Oneida Avenue and League Street, where Charles Harland, 66, has lived for 11 years.
Sandy Lessenger, Harland's sister, said a tree came through the wall of the house and then the windows blew out. Harland had crawled to the bathroom, but when the roof blew off, he went down to the basement.
A neighbor pulled him out, Lessenger said.
The outer walls of the cinder block home were gone Tuesday morning, along with much of Harland's possessions.
"He lost everything," Lessenger said.
Harland is staying with his sister, but Lessenger said her family is asking for clothing, especially winter clothes. To donate clothes, people can call Jay Noah at 563-272-9150.
Greg Garza, who lives with his family on West Fourth Street, narrowly missed being hit with a board that came through his bedroom window on the home's second floor.
"Where that board hit was right where I was laying," he said.
Garza's son was in the room where a tree branch went through a window in the main level of the home, knocking over a dresser.
"It's like somebody threw a grenade in my house," he said.
Many power and cable lines are down around Muscatine, and Erika Cox, the director of employee and community relations at Muscatine Power and Water, said more than 3,300 customers were out of service after the storm passed through around 10 p.m. Monday. Tuesday morning, around 70 residents reported being without power, Cox said.
Cox said MP&W employees have been dispatched to guard the lines and ensure no one is hurt until line crews can finish repairs. Cox said MP&W is asking people to call if they see a downed line and to stay away from the line.
"Stay clear, don't go near," she said.
Crews worked through the night and will be back in early Tuesday afternoon to continue working into the evening.
According to the Muscatine Fire Department, no deaths were reported, and six people were transported by emergency crews around the time of the storm.