Chief Wapello takes a tumble

Chief Wapello laying in the road after a crane removed it from the Wapello County Courthouse roof

Not only did the thunderstorms in southeast Iowa cause damage to houses and vehicles Saturday afternoon, but they also damaged a landmark.

His name is Chief Wapello and he has stood atop the Wapello County Courthouse for many years. The statue could not take the strong winds on Saturday and became loose.

â??Chief Wapello took a tumble but he's been recovered and he's been placed in county yards. There's substantial damage but presumably the statue will be repairable. It's a copper statue,â?? said Frank Flanders, Mayor of Ottumwa.

Crowds gathered in front of the courthouse as a crane and firefighters were called to the scene to rescue Chief Wapello before he lost all footing.

â??One thing we'd also like to say is that were thankful. It appears there were no injuries from this. So weâ??re very thankful for that. It could have been a lot worse so weâ??re as pleased as we can be that it wasn't worse,â?? said Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark.

It is uncertain at this time how much repairs will cost. The whereabouts of the statue are not being released but officials say he is safe.