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IA Dairy Farm Picks Up Pieces After Tornado

May 12, 2014, 6:00 PM by Matt Holsen

IA Dairy Farm Picks Up Pieces After Tornado

Two tornadoes touched town in northern Iowa Sunday night causing damage and leaving residents and businesses to pick up the pieces. A dairy farm north of Newkirk was hit. Crews worked through Sunday night to get the cows milking again.

"The roof was in the parlor and the roof to the utility room was gone, roof to the milk house was gone," Will Warntjes said.

Thanks to a nearby tornado, the dairy farm is struggling to get back up and running. The clock is ticking too. Warntjes with Sioux Dairy Equipment and a few others worked through the night to clean up and put equipment back together.

"Main water line broke. There was water everywhere. Had to get power shutoff and get everything pulled apart. Now we're turning everything back on," Warntjes said.

While he wouldn't talk on camera, a member of the family that owns the farm got emotional when observing the mess. Wartnjes says on top of the thousands of dollars worth of structural damage, the cows could be in trouble if they don't get back in the parlor.

"Their cows are permanently damaged if they can't get them milked again within the next 24 hours. So we have to get those cows milked," Warntjes said.

This kind of work is nothing new for the Sioux Dairy crew. They're on call 24 hours a day to help out where they're needed and they've done it before.

"Last year we had a tornado hit Sioux Jerseys down by Sioux City. Theirs, the utility room and the milk room and parlor weren't damaged near as bad as they were here. They just lost the free stall barns and they didn't actually quit milking for that long. These guys haven't been milking since 9 o'clock last night," Warntjes said.

Confirmed tornadoes touched down Sunday night just down the road from Newkirk near Hospers, Iowa. The tornadoes hit at 8:37 and 8:52 p.m.

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