Rockford's Recovery: Despite Earlier Storm Damage, Football Team Gears Up for Home Opener

Logan Reigstad
Updated: October 09, 2020 06:59 PM
Created: August 30, 2018 12:00 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- It's been nearly three months since severe storms packing winds of around 75 miles per hour toppled trees, blew bleachers into fences and damaged buildings in the north Iowa community of Rockford. Signs of the storm's wrath remain visible, but despite more work needing to be done at Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock Community School, the Warriors are ready to kick off their football season at home Friday night.

Superintendent Keith Turner said the June 9 storm took down 30 trees on the district's property, and a collapsed light pole crushed a concession stand. The concession stand, which also served as a halftime locker room for the football team, has yet to be rebuilt, but much of the other damage has been repaired just in time for the fall sports season.

"(Electricians) just got here earlier today, worked all day and got both of those lights done, so we're ready to go tomorrow night," Athletic Director Brian Johnson said.

The storm forced the baseball and softball teams to finish their seasons on the road. The district was determined not to see the same fate start their football season.

"As the days went on, we kind of figured out what we wanted to do, how we wanted to rebuild, things we wanted to put back up, so I would say a few days after the storm hit, the picture became a lot clearer for all of us," Johnson said.

Johnson estimates the athletic facilities are about 70 percent restored and said he expects the rest of the work, including fencing repairs, to wrap up quickly.

"The project's in motion, we're getting architects to help us out with it so that part of it I think we're gonna get done hopefully over the winter, maybe in the spring," he said.

Superintendent Turner admits it's been a slow recovery process, but stressed he'd rather see the work done properly than rushed through to completion.

Helping that recovery were more than 100 members of the community and neighboring ones, Turner said. At one point, the district had more than 120 volunteers helping clean up, a strong showing of support from people around the area, he said.

"Any time you have struggles like that, you find out that you really are a community and that we do pull together," he said.

The Warriors will face off against the Kee Hawks to start their season Friday at 6 p.m., a kickoff moved up due to another chance of thunderstorms Friday night.

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