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Tanks Bar and Grill reopens thanks to community support

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Tanks Bar and Grill manager Morgan Larson behind the bar.

On Dec. 15, a serial derecho ripped through parts of Iowa, leaving a path of devastation behind. But one of the hardest-hit communities in North Iowa was Rudd in Floyd County. 

Tanks Bar and Grill manager Morgan Larson thanks the community for the support in Rudd. 

About 15 miles east of Mason City, Rudd was brutalized by the derecho, with houses torn apart and the local library and historical museum left nearly unrecognizable. 

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Damage sustained in Rudd after a line of storms pushed through on Dec.15. 

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Damage to the inside of the Rudd Public Library. 

Tanks Bar and Grill, a popular restaurant in Rudd, received its fair share of damage too. 

"We lost a quarter of our roof, which led to water damage inside," Tanks Bar and Grill manager Morgan Larson said. "We had to replace ceiling tiles, insulation and part of a wall."

The damage led to Tanks Bar and Grill being closed for nearly an entire month, and it may have been longer if community members didn't step up to help fix the damage. 

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Tanks Bar and Grill manager Morgan Larson pours a drink for a customer.

Rick Jensen, of Jensen's New and Old Construction, volunteered to fix the damaged part of the roof, and Codey Fox, the owner of Fox Construction, repaired all the damage sustained inside the restaurant for Larson and Tanks Bar and Grill owner Susan Flores. 

"Both of them dropped everything for us to come help so we could reopen as soon as possible," Larson said.

It wasn't just Tanks that North Iowa residents rallied behind. Community members sprung into action to assist the entire town. 

The day following the derecho, hundreds of people could be seen in the streets of Rudd, cleaning up debris and handing out water and food to those impacted by the storm. 

The Rudd Public Library, which was partially collapsed, has received over $11,000 in donations from over 123 people in an effort to reconstruct the building. 

"It was really amazing to see not only our community, but so many surrounding towns come together for us too," Larson said. "I personally live in Rudd as well, and walking around, cleaning up, seeing just how many people came into town to help clean up everything in about day and a half, was amazing."

After 22 days, Tanks Bar and Grill opened once again, and Larson said that the community support they've received since has been a bit staggering. 

"It’s been awesome to be back up and running, seeing all the customers again," Larson said. "Our first weekend open was really busy. We’re so thankful for everyone that’s came in since we reopened." 

Tanks Bar and Grill is located at 409 Chickasaw St. in Rudd. Tanks is currently open for dine-in or take out from 5:00-8:00 p.m. six days a week. 

Zachary Dupont covers politics and business development for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at 641-421-0533 or zachary.dupont@globegazette.com. Follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZachNDupont

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