RUDD, Iowa — Rudd Public Library Director Shelly Sharp decided to close the library early last Wednesday in anticipation of the severe weather forecasted for that night. She then went to the basement that evening.

“I was in the neighbor’s basement when the storm came through. He is a volunteer fireman for our fire department here in town,” said Sharp. “We had his pager with us … We heard a fireman say that the library was the severely damaged. Our shed was severely damaged, we lost our tornado sirens.”

There were homes and buildings damaged in town, including the Rudd Public Library. It had its roof and some walls removed. The next day they began to salvage books from the shelves.

“We boxed as much stuff up as we could,” said Sharp. “A lot of houses where damaged. Getting these books out of boxes was not our number one priority.”

Sharp now has a plan to keep serving the community with library books. She plans to open a temporary library in City Hall.

“It’s going to be small, but we will keep it stocked as best we can,” said Sharp. “We just want to keep as much normalcy in our town as possible.”

Also hit by the tornado was the Rudd Historical Museum. It had many historic artifacts stored in a former church building. The building took a direct hit and some of the historic items are now missing.

“There’s part of a 1800s wedding dress I know that’s missing. We lost a trunk, a unique trunk. We lost a pump organ, a lot of clothing we had up here. The military section is gone,” said museum director Joyce Navratil.

They did find a World War II Purple Heart award given to a resident of Rudd. But some other military medals are missing.

Sharp has set up an account at First Security Bank to accept donations. Checks can be made out to: Rudd Public Library Relief Fund. Mail them to the address below:

First Security Bank
P.O. Box 577
7809 Clark Street
Charles City, Iowa 50616