The Northwood Tornado: 5 Years LaterNorthwood, ND (WDAY TV) - It was on this night 5 years ago that a tornado ripped through the town of Northwood, North Dakota.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ, WDAY
Northwood, ND (WDAY TV) - It was on this night 5 years ago that a tornado ripped through the town of Northwood, North Dakota.
It's business as usual for Joan Guenthner who, with her husband, owns Northwood's only grocery store. They've come a long ways in five years’ time, since they experienced the fury of an E-F4 tornado.
Joan Guenthner – Grocery Store Owner: "Tore the roof off, and then it started raining. So everything in the store got wet. "
On August 26th, 2007 a tornado tore a path through this town of 300 people, killing one person and leaving piles of debris that just minutes before were homes and people's livelihoods.
Bob Wallace – CEO of Agvise Labs: "We did lose our business."
Bob Wallace is the CEO of Agvise Labs. It's one of the town largest employers. The building was destroyed, but today, the rebuilt structure is just one symbol of this town's perseverance.
Bob Wallace: "We had about 40 families whose livelihood depended on it, and you just can't walk away from those people. "
Scott Ostlie - City Councilman: "People are resilient and they take pride in their communities and they take pride in their property and their businesses."
City Councilman Scott Ostlie says there's one silver lining of the disaster. Northwood's old school was replaced with new $14 million modern structure.
Scott Ostlie: "Bringing new families and community members in because of that."
Joan Guenthner: "People are moving back the population is growing some. "
Today, new downtown buildings, renovated houses and many missing trees are remaining hints of what this town went through.
Scott Ostlie: “The community doesn't dwell or think about it. We are just moving forward and continuing to grow.”
That’s the attitude Joan Guenthner had when they rebuilt their business.
Joan Guenthner : "This town needs a grocery store. And they appreciate that we have one."
Councilman Ostlie says Northwood would not look as good today if it were not for the many volunteers from up and down the valley that helped after the tornado.