BONDURANT, Iowa — “What doesn’t go through your mind? You know, please God, let my mom be okay.”
Sheer panic set in as a tornado tore apart the town of Bondurant on Thursday.
Mother Nature has not been kind to the city this summer, first bringing flash flooding and now tornadoes. Surprisingly, many residents are still in good spirits.
People were the first priority when news quickly spread about the storm. For Sharon Link, that meant checking on her three young grandchildren.
“They were asleep in the front bedroom” says Link. “The camper is so close to where they were sleeping.”
By the time they tried to enact their safety plan, it was too late.
“They were trying to go to the basement and the windows were blowing in, so glass was flying inside the house.”
Link said her neighbor was outside at the time and ran in to help, taking her daughter-in-law and the children to shelter inside her home.
“In the midst of it all. She’s very shaken. It was very traumatic. I cannot imagine. I’m just praising God that they are safe,” says Link.
Janet Alexander says she and her husband were leaving the lake when they saw the tornadoes heading toward her mother’s home.
“So I called and said, ‘get to the basement, quick!'”
Alexander’s mother is fine, but the house is not.
“That big branch was on top of my mom’s house. The whole front of my mom’s house, you couldn’t even see it, there were so many trees on top of it. This young man’s roof was on our front yard,” says Alexander.
Spray painted markings on the homes mean they are not safe to enter, leaving families with a lot of unanswered questions.
“My husband and I, last night we looked at each other and we don’t even know what to say,” says Link. “We don’t have a plan because we don’t know what the plan needs to be yet.”
Link says she’s still in shock.
“I watched the video coverage even of my own house, and it’s very surreal. It’s very, this… it’s hard to put myself in this spot.”
Thankfully, the community is there to help pick up the pieces.
“We’ve had so many people reach out to us,” exclaims Link. “The city has been wonderful. So many people stopping by to offer us a meal or water or help.”
“They offered food, they offered drinks, they cut up all the big trees in the whole neighborhood and tried to get them cleaned up,” says Alexander.
Because when times get tough, Bondurant proves people are tougher.
“That is what life is all about, is helping one another through times like this.”