Mapleton officials say long-term recovery could take years - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Mapleton officials say long-term recovery could take up to 10 years

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"When you move into recovery, it requires a lot of planning. Just because you lost a tree, for instance, doesn't mean you should plant the tree in that same place," said Whiteing. "When you move into recovery, it requires a lot of planning. Just because you lost a tree, for instance, doesn't mean you should plant the tree in that same place," said Whiteing.
MAPLETON, Iowa (KTIV) -

Two years ago, Tuesday, a tornado wielding winds up to 165 miles per hour slammed into the town of Mapleton, Iowa. None of the about 1,200 residents were seriously hurt. But more than half of the town was damaged.

By the numbers, the EF-3 tornado destroyed 46 homes, 21 businesses, and hundreds of trees.

Scuffed siding, dented gain bins, even the sound of the noon siren stir old memories of the April 9th storm. But recovery is in minds too.

"I think it's come along really well. I think people have made a lot of improvements, a lot of good changes," said City Clerk Karla Uhl.

Marie Whiteing is working to help build new memories. She's the executive director of the Rebuild & Recover Mapleton Committee. Their goal?

"To recover Mapleton, and make it better than it was before the tornado," said Whiteing.

Whiteing says the town is two years into an up to ten-year, long-term, recovery plan. She says they're open to adding new homes, trees, and better roads, but are taking things slow.

"When you move into recovery, it requires a lot of planning. Just because you lost a tree, for instance, doesn't mean you should plant the tree in that same place," said Whiteing.

That planning, in large, will depend on the results of studies conducted by Iowa State University.

"Housing study, economic impact study, green space and transportation study. We hope to have them done by 2014," said Whiteing.

Can't wait? There are some changes you can see already. New homes have replaced destroyed ones in the southwest corner of town. New businesses too.

"It's been moving right along. We've been real happy with it," said Bert Schauer.

Bert Schauer owns the new gas station on 4th Street. He was going to remodel the old building that was there, but the tornado trashed it. So he built new and is happy with the result. 

"We invested quite a bit more money, but we've got a lot nicer facility then what we would have had," said Schauer.

"Rebuild & Recover Mapleton" is trying to grab all the state and federal funding it can to help with recovery. Some of those funds will be used to renovate a portion of green space along 4th Street, in the next two weeks.

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