Wayland Turkey Farm Recovering from Tornado - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Wayland Turkey Farm Recovering from Tornado

Updated: Nov 14, 2012 06:34 PM CST

Six months ago, Wayland, Iowa was hit hard by an F-2 tornado and a turkey farm was severely damaged. With Thanksgiving around the corner, KWQC went back to the farm to see how the family is doing.

 "We are finally coming to a place where we can take a sigh of relief, take a breath of relief and say we are getting through this," Lowell Unruh said.

The Unruh family lost their big machine shed, main turkey house, and several large trees in the tornado. Many other buildings suffered severe damage as well. The farm was left with large piles of debris and more than 400 turkeys died. However, despite the immense damage, the family has come a long way since then. The big machine shed and turkey house have been replaced. New trees have also been planted.

 "That was probably my favorite day when they planted these trees. They are small but they're trees," Pam Unruh said.

Unruh says she grew up on the farm, so losing the trees was the hardest part.

"When I lost my trees it took me for a loop."

Losing their turkey house also put the family into a tail spin. A large portion of their livelihood comes from selling turkeys, but the couple says even though they lost hundreds and their house, this year they have already welcomed more then 20,000 babies. They say that was made possible due in large part because of help from the community.

"I've always lived on the positive side of life, but this just puts a new perspective on the people that help you live on the positive side of life. That night at midnight there were 100 people here carefully loading every turkey by hand so they weren't out in the open, we didn't have any place for them to go," Pam Unruh said.

 The couple says that kindness has given them a lot of be thankful for this year.

 "We've been very, very thankful for this community and for what they gave done for us," Lowell Unruh said.

"Thankful is a word that probably doesn't describe our deepest emotion, I've said that over and over, I cannot say enough how thankful I am for the community of people that were here, my sister and her family, there are not words to describe that," Pam Unruh said.

The Unruh's say their new turkey building will be ready by January and for the first time since the tornado they'll be able to keep their turkeys there and operate at full capacity.

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