Few structures spared by Marshalltown tornado

A home on Fremont Street in Marshalltown was one of many structures hit by a tornado on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

A minute can be the blink of an eye or the pace of a tortoise.

For Jared Steckly, 60 seconds is all it took to destroy he and his girlfriend's first home - bought just four months ago.

For Jonathan Hull, the same stretch is how he'll be taking the rebuilding process of his family's 154-year-old business.

Regardless of perspective, both men share the same scenario as thousands of people in Marshalltown after a tornado ripped through the community on Thursday.

Hull is the fifth generation owner of Willard's Furs and Fashions (36 West Main Street). He spent Friday morning shoveling glass and debris in front of the shop he took shelter in just hours before - emerging to "devastation that I've never seen before."

"It looked like the Wizard of Oz tornado - debris just going everywhere," he said of what he saw Thursday afternoon. "I can hear the buildings collapsing - and I thought, 'What's mine gonna look like?'"

Meanwhile, Steckly says his house in the 1500 block of Fremont Street nearly caved in on top of him, his girlfriend, and their two dogs.

It was a house the young couple was hoping to make a home.

"We had a lot of plans," he said on Friday, standing in the open-air area that was once a bedroom. "This whole week, she was talking about re-doing the floors and re-painting everything."

"It was going to be our fixer-upper...but we'll move forward."

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