Hope Tomkins lost almost everything in a tornado that destroyed her home in Iowa, US, in 2008. “When we got to our house, there were three walls left standing. It was indescribable,” said Tomkins. The deadly tornado left dozens injured and killed nine people, including five of Tomkins’s neighbors. She lost most of her possessions; one that particularly stung was a photo of her grandparents on their wedding day in 1942, which Tomkins had proudly displayed in her living room. But nearly 16 years later, she got it back in what felt like an enormous stroke of luck. Tomkins was scrolling through Facebook in January, 2024, when she stumbled upon a post from the City of Parkersburg in which her beloved grandparents’ photo was featured. The post read, “Does anyone recognize this couple? One of the many unclaimed tornado items from over the years.” She immediately called the city to let them know the photo belonged to her. Tomkins plans to have the photo, which is a little worse for the wear, restored and to make several copies to ensure this doesn’t happen again. “Don’t give up hope of finding treasures. It might be 15 or 20 years, but somewhere down the line, it could happen to you too,” Tomkins said.

Read Full Story