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Volunteers pick up storm debris in Iowa County farm fields


Paul and Sara Welp's family farm is missing some belongings.

One thing it's not short of today is people. Dozens of volunteers gathered to cover thousands of acres of corn and beans. Their work restored faith and farm fields for a family affected by Sunday night's tornado in Iowa County.

"He [dad] used to take me out of school to go look at farms when i was in kindergarten. I still remember going up in that attic," said Amy Smart, Paul and Sara Welp's oldest daughter.

The family farm meant everything to the Welp's.

"I grew up here. I was in 4h," said Smart.

After their machine sheds, barn and memories were spread across miles of farmland after Sunday's tornado, they knew they had their work cut out for them.

"It was overwhelming, on Monday, to start going through this little area, and it took us all day with a handful a people," said Smart.

It only took a few hours before they knew they couldn't do it alone.

"I prayed to God for help. Because I can't do it alone," said Smart.

Smart said the field full of volunteers is proof God answered her prayers.

Kim Kniefel is one of those volunteers.

"They're actually neighbors of my sister," said Kniefel.

She's known the family for years because of her sister's close proximity.

"It's really sad to see everything around here," said Kniefel.

She's seen a lot of damage from Sunday's tornado and is just one of dozens walking through the Welp farm fields. She knows they've got to pick up the pieces to get back to work.

"There's a lot of equipment. a lot of metal, and millions of screws we've found out in the farm fields," said Smart.

All of the debris needs to be picked up before any machinery or animals can come through the fields.

"There might be a crowbar down there. You get that in your machine and you're out of commission. That's their business. So how can I ask somebody to go and bale hay for Dad and ruin their business because we haven't got a chance to pick it up yet," said Smart.

But each bucket full adds a little hope and plenty of faith for the Welp's.

"It's restored that there is good in everybody. you just need to ask for help," said Smart.


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