Rudd, IA – One Year Later: The Road to Recovery
(ABC 6 News) – On December 15th, 2021, the town of Rudd changed forever.
Rudd Historical Society President Joyce Navratil couldn’t believe the damage when it came through. “We don’t know what we’re going to do to recover from the tornado.”
An EF-1 tornado, with winds of 110 miles per hour, hit the town just after 7pm.
Several houses had major damage. Those have since either been repaired, or torn down and rebuilt.
The Rudd Public Library lost its roof, and a local church, which was also used as a museum, was leveled.
Navratil talks about the damage to the church. “This whole front area of this church museum blew across into the neighbors yard. The back part, which was the fellowship area at one time for the church, survived; but, it had to be demolished because the damage was so bad.”
Navratil has faced major challenges since last year, with the biggest being finding a contractor. “If I call them, a lot of them don’t answer my calls. A few of them have come and looked at the project, and never heard from them again.”
In the meantime, they’ve been raising money. The historical society hosts a breakfast on the first day of every month, and they hosted a fashion show back in September.
Navratil loved the event and how successful it was. “We had over 50 models and over 200 people there. Very strong support from the community and the surrounding area, which we greatly appreciated.”
As for the library, they have estimates that need to be approved by the city of Rudd, and they have an architect.
The library is currently operating inside city hall, but the limited hours has slowed down business. Library President Board Amy Leaman elaborates. “As you can see, we have a very limited space. Our patronige is down from when we were in our own space.”
AS LONG AS THE BUDGET AND THE PLAN FOR THE NEW LIBRARY GETS APPROVED, THE RUDD PUBLIC LIBRARY IS LOOKING TO BE AS OPEN IN LATE 2023 OR EARLY 2024.
“We’re still a little bit short, so still reaching out for donations and grants and hope to meet our goal.”
Due to a project to add to the park in Rudd, the library will be built at a new location, at the corner of Sixth Street and Floyd Avenue.
With donations of seven computers from the Rockford Lions Club as well as a printer, everyone with the library is excited for the upgrades coming, including Leaman. “It’s a space for kids’ activities and adult programming throughout the year.”
It’s been a long road, and there are still more challenges, but Leaman chooses to remain optimistic. “It’s just a temporary situation.”
Both the historical museum and library have had a ton of support, and members of Rudd are thankful for the people in their community.
Both the library and historical society are still taking donations so they can rebuild.
For the library, you can make those donations at First Security Bank in Rudd.
For the historical society, you can send those donations to their P.O. Box.
Rudd Historical Society: P.O. Box 282 Rudd, IA 50471
Rudd Public Library: P.O. Box 305 Rudd, IA 50471