Signs of progress in West Liberty five years after devastating tornado

Published: Mar. 2, 2017 at 5:44 PM EST
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Just by looking at Main Street in West Liberty, it is hard to believe an EF3 tornado devastated the town five years ago.

"As a friend of mine said, it looked like a bomb had fallen on Main Street," said Mayor Mark Walter.

Walter was a city council member at the time. He said he will never forget that day.

"Seeing the fronts of the buildings laying on the sidewalks ... we had a police cruiser that was actually on its side in front of City Hall," Walter said.

These are the images the mayor and many others can't get out of their heads. However, after five years, they want to focus on the future.

"A lot of people don't want to go back five years," Walter said. "We want to look at going forward."

The pictures you see today are very different. Many business owners and homeowners chose to rebuild. Some say it speaks to the old saying: time really can heal all wounds.