Tornado Tears Through Restaurant in Belmond - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Tornado Tears Through Restaurant in Belmond

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Addie Olson

aolson@myabc5.com

@addieolson

Belmond got their first look at the destruction from Wednesday's tornadoes on Thursday.

The National Weather Service confirmed that three tornadoes hit the area around Belmond. One of them was considered an EF3 with wind speeds of 155 mph.

Residents are grateful that no one was hurt, but they're still in shock after their first glance at all the damage.

"It breaks your heart," said Cattleman's Steakhouse owner, Deb Abel.

Her restaurant was destroyed.

"Just kind of hard breathing when we first walked through there," Abel said.

The National Weather Service says with a storm this big things could have been worse.

"We're grateful no one was hurt because it was a strong tornado," said Jeff Johnson of the NWS. "I'm equally grateful it didn't go a little further south and right through the heart of town."

Deb and Duwayne Abel have owned Cattleman's Steakhouse for 32 years. Their restaurant is now a mess of debris, but they said they consider themselves lucky.

"We could have had 12–15 employees along with 60–70 customers," said Duwayne Abel. "By the time it hit, we wouldn't have had time to get them to safety."

The tornado hit just an hour before the restaurant would have been full of the people they care about most.

"Being in a small area you know a lot of your customers, and they might come out two, three times a week," said Deb Abel. "They become family and our employees are family. It's been really emotional today to know that we won't see them like that, for a while anyway."

 

 

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