Red Cross helps victims of damaged apartment building

Perry police officer Lourdes Clay interprets for a resident of the apartments at 303 Eighth St. for American Red Cross volunteer Angie Jewett.

Thunderstorms with heavy winds caused damage throughout Perry and surrounding communities Tuesday evening and into the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Straight-line winds of at least 60 mph caused some tree limb damage in Perry and lifted the roof off a four-unit apartment house at 303 Eighth St.

No one was injured in the incident. Ten residents were forced to evacuate due to the potentially dangerous situation, and all received aid at the Perry volunteer Fire Department station by volunteers of the Central Iowa Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Red Cross volunteers Susan Ryon, Angie Jewett and husband-and-wife team Al Burrows and Maureen McGuire helped residents find temporary shelter and provided water, snacks and blankets while informing them of additional relief services.

“We were eating when it happened and didn’t even know it,” said Crystal Guzman, a resident of the complex. Guzman and two friends were in a downstairs apartment on the opposite side of the building from where most of the damage occurred. She said they were not aware¬†anything happened.

“We didn’t hear anything and didn’t lose power,” she added. “It wasn’t until the police knocked on our door that we knew something was wrong.”

Damage was done to nearby trees and to several vehicles, although Guzman thought none of the vehicles owned by those living in her building was damaged.

It was unclear how long residents would be displaced. Police cordoned off the area around the building, which records indicate was built in 1985.


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