Peru still is cleaning up from an EF-1 tornado that touched down near the city July 10 and left wide-spread damage in its path, including flipped cars, crumbled houses, uprooted trees and downed power lines that knocked out electricity to around 60 percent of the city.
Despite the devastation left after 95-mile-an-hour winds tore through the city, no injuries were reported, according the Peru Police Department.“You have to thank God for that,” said Peru Mayor Jim Walker. “We’re very thankful for that.”
Fallen tree limbs littered every street after the storm, but the city’s west side experienced the worst damage. On West 2nd Street, trees smashed through houses and winds tore off entire roofs and decimated a large backyard garage.
Businesses on West Main Street also sustained massive damage, including Aldi, Arby’s and Wendy’s. The storm turned the drive-in area at B&K into rubble, and smashed cars and trucks into a pile at the Kroger parking lot.
Massive trees more than 100 years old stretched across parts of Maconaquah Park on the city’s south side. Down the road at a mobile-home area off of Ind. 19, a storage trailer lay in pieces after winds blew it over 15 feet away from its foundation.
“For as serious as it could have been, we’re thankful no one got hurt,” said Peru Police Chief Jonie Kennedy.
For Derrick Stapleton, watching the storm descend on his Peru neighborhood was just like the countless he’s seen play out on TV.
“Man, it’s just like on TV,” he said. “I watched it roll down to the ground, just like they say it happens.”
When the skies over Peru went dark, Stapleton said it was only minutes before “it was right on top of us.”
“At first I thought it was a train running out behind the house.”