The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on November 13, 2005 · Page 14
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 14

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Page 14
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Des Moines Sunday Register DM Page 14A Sunday, November 13, 2005 "Houses were literally picked up and moved; that's how serious it was up there." Tenette Carlson, wife of Stratford fire chief Tornadoes pummel nine Iowa towns TORNADOES, from Page 1 A evacuate an eight -block section of the town after the storm damaged a major gas line. Between 100 and 150 people were expected to spend the night in local churches or the fire and rescue building. "Houses were literally picked up and moved; that's how serious it was up there," said the Stratford fire chief's wife, Tenette Carlson. In one of the seriously damaged homes, rescuers found Lucille Ru-nyan dead in her house's basement in northwestern Stratford. Iowa recorded no fatalities from tornadoes in 2002, 2003 or 2004. Two people died in 2001, one in 2000 and two in 1999. There were no fatalities the previous 12 years, records show. Besides Runyan's death, officials found two other people injured. Hicok told the Associated Press two people were taken to hospitals in Boone and Webster City. Their names were not released. A woman taken to Boone County Hospital had a broken hip and was transferred to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, hospital officials said. Officials at Hamilton County Public Hospital in Webster City and the Hamilton County sheriff's department declined to release any information about the other injury, the AP reported. Runyan, 82, had nine children, said Kim Runyan, Lucille's daughter-in-law. Lucille worked in the laundry department at the Stratford Care Center. "She just loved her family, loved to do crafts, and she'd help anybody with anything," Kim Runyan said. Larry Runyan, Lucille's son and Kim's husband, is a member of Stratford's fire and rescue department. He was at his mother's house when other rescue workers found his mother and when she was pronounced dead, Kim Runyan said. Scott Bergman, 17, of Stratford, who worked to find Lucille, said, "No one could find her so I got a flashlight, and I looked under a wall. I bet there were 500 pounds of brick on top, and she was under." The tornado touched down in Stratford at 4:46 p.m. As the tornado left, it appeared to head in a direct line toward Bill Crystal's house in the countryside. "I was scared to death," Crystal said. "It got wider as it came through, and then it kind of dissipated." A cloud of debris passed overhead. "It was raining stuff out of the sky, shingles and stuff he said. "The sky was just full of it over me." Frances and Bob Dally of Stratford saw debris swirling in the air outside their kitchen on Shakespeare Avenue and escaped to the basement. Seconds later, they heard glass smashing. Almost every window was broken. "I have glass all over the house. It's not good," Frances Dally said from her daughter's house in rural Stratford. "My emotions are shot." The tornadoes' fury lasted nearly a full hour. The first funnel touched down in Woodward at 427 p.m.; the last funnel was reported at Radcliffe at 5:23 p.m. Jeff Taylor of Woodward's volunteer fire department watched as the tornado danced toward his town going north then skipping east as it cut a path through the Cyclone A twister threat evacuates Jack Trice Stadium, but many attendees shrug off the stormy start to the game. By TOM WIT0SKY and SEAN KEELER REGISTER STAFF WRITERS Ames, la. The big excitement at Jack Trice Stadium blew through about an hour before Saturday night's Iowa State-Colorado football game. The game was delayed 40 minutes when the stadium was evacuated because of a major tornado-producing storm that swept through central Iowa killing at least one person and damaging dozens of houses. The mood was cheerful at the stadium where no injuries were reported. But for a brief time, it looked bad. Several thousand fans were moved to the basement of the Ja-cobson Building, to Hilton Coliseum and to the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility. Others went underneath the stadium, watching the clouds and lightning and listening to a howling wind. o . n , y ft . W - wi: 1 y c y - . v :"'! iV, ;'" ; -r - r I,- v ' a I I "- - ' - Dark dinner: Matthew Matheney, 12, of Novinger, Mo., left, and Lucas Skjordal, 11, of Gilbert eat barbecue by flashlights Saturday in the Gilbert High School cafeteria. The boys were at the Skjordal home earlier when a tornado struck nearby. to- ' MERLE SHAWDKCCI TELEVISION Touching down: A tornado strikes in Woodward on Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported in Woodward after the tornado, although many homes were damaged by the storm. town's southern edge. "It was a big black thing. ... It looked like it didn't know where it wanted to go," Taylor said. The storm overturned automobiles as if they were toys, leaving more than a dozen upside-down, and reduced many homes to nothing but a pile of debris. Poles and power lines in a fans encounter the real thing before game "Well, you have to remember, this is Cyclone country," said Mike Clausen, an ISU season ticket holder from Polk City. "We had hoped to do some tailgating before the game, but we just didn't like the look of the weather." Clausen said he didn't mind having a 6 p.m. kickoff in November. "It's actually pretty warm today." Meanwhile, the parents of Colorado player Nick Holz, who is from San Francisco, seemed amused by the weather as they stood with friends in the Bergstrom facility. "This is some really nice hospitality," Tim Holz said. "This building is really quite nice and safe." Marilee Holz said she didn't mind the weather either. "You can give us a tornado and a victory, and we will be very happy," she said. She didn't get her wish, though: Iowa State later upset No. 22 Colorado, 30-16. Harry Scott, a football recruit J two-block area of Woodward were downed by the tornado, Alliant Energy spokesperson Ryan Sten-sland said. At the Casey's General Store along Main Street, an automobile was left upside-down, and the building's sign and awning were damaged. Tornadoes in the fall are from Sarasota, Fla., who was attending the game, said the stormy weather wasn't a new experience to him this year. "It's been doing this all year in Florida. I am just like, 'Ah, no, not again.' " Forty minutes after evacuating, officials declared conditions safe for the return to the stadium, and within 10 minutes fans were filling the stands and players were preparing on the field. Officials started the game at 6:40 p.m. The only other time the stadium has been evacuated was in 1992. That was during a game, and the teams were taken off the field for 45 minutes. Saturday's evacuation order came about 5 p.m., after players working out before the game were cleared from the field because of lightning. Tailgaters said the experience was intense. "All of the sudden it got dark, and the rain started coming down so hard you could see everything blowing around, and my granddaughter was crying," said Delores Tueo. KEVIN SANDEHSASSOCIATED PRESS Storm's power: An overturned car sits in the parking lot of a Casey's General Store on Saturday in Woodward after a tornado swept through the town. The store was also damaged. unusual. "But the mild moist air that made conditions right for it is moving out, and colder, windier conditions are going to set in," said Craig Cogil of the National Weather Service in Des Moines. In fact, weather officials predict Des Moines may see its first snow of the season on Monday. Since 1970, there have been a total of 23 tornadoes in November, said Gary Forster of the National Weather Service. Forster said tornadoes touched down in Pilot Mound, Ames, Min-burn, Woodward, Luther, Madrid, Stratford, Gilbert and Radcliffe. After the storms, temperatures dropped about 20 degrees. Just how powerful the fall tornadoes were is yet to be determined. The National Weather Service wasn't ready Saturday night to announce how the storms rated on the Fujita Scale, which ranks storms between F0 (weak) and F5 (violent). 'AM ' . it I I ft fl! Ml L BILL NEIBERGALLTHE REGISTER Encroachment! Dark clouds pass over Iowa State's Bergstrom Indoor Facility. Moments after sirens sounded, a tornado formed in this same view over the north side of Ames before the football game Saturday. Jack Trice Stadium was evacuated. The game started 40 minutes late. BILL NEIBERG ALLTHE REGISTER According to damage reports, it appears the storm could rank as an F3. F3 storms produce winds of up to 206 miles per hour and cause severe damage, such as tearing off roofs and walls from houses and lifting cars. That ferocity also affected power. As of 9:45 p.m. Saturday, fewer than 100 people were without power in southeast Woodward, rural Boxholm and Gilbert, said Stensland. Crews from across the state worked on the outages, and many people were expected to have power restored by today. In Stratford late Saturday, 400 customers were still without gas after a tornado took a major gas line. Crews were working on shutting off the meters on homes and businesses. Crews intended to work their way north throughout the night. The storm's winds hit the edge of Gilbert. Several townspeople said they didn't hear of any major damage to houses, just some "MWi4l.fc;a,i -.. 3:;.;. , ,- '5, V,v'" Tornado intensity The Fujita Scale (also called F-Scale) was developed based on damage intensity, not wind speed, according to the National Weather Service. The following wind speed ranges are estimates based on the extent of observed damage. FO (WEAK) Winds of 40 mph to 72 mph. Light damage such as branches broken off trees, shallow-rooted trees uprooted and sign boards damaged. F1 (WEAK): Winds of 73 mph to 112 mph. Moderate damage such as roof surfaces peeled off; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off roads. F2 (STRONG): Winds of 113 mph to 157 mph. Considerable damage such as roofs torn from frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted. F3 (STRONG): Winds of 158 mph to 206 mph. Severe damage such as roofs and some walls torn from well-constructed houses; trains overturned; heavy cars lifted and thrown. F4 (VIOLENT): Winds of 207 mph to 260 mph. Devastating damage such as well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundation blown some distance; cars thrown. F5 (VIOLENT): Winds of 261 mph to 318 mph. Incredible damage such as strong frame houses lifted off foundations, carried considerable distances, and disintegrated; auto-size missiles airborne for several hundred feet or more; trees debarked. outbuildings. Emergency equipment responded to a farmstead about a quarter mile south of town. "I saw the funnel cloud come from the south and go just a couple blocks east of us," said Dan Uthe, who lives on Ashton Street in Gilbert. "I could see shingles and roofing paper and some things like that going up, circling into the funnel." Near Gilbert Community School, Story County sheriff's deputies stopped traffic because of downed power lines. In Woodward, a jittery wedding . party stood outside Lake Robbins Ballroom and watched as the winds rose and a gray funnel cloud passed in the distance with a growling rumble. Some of the 300 guests packed into the bathrooms inside the structure, built with steel beams in 1931. "I was trying to calm everybody down, telling them to stay here and not to try to drive," said the ballroom's owner, Lynn Wilkinson. The electricity was knocked out, but luckily everyone had just finished their supper of pork loin slices and cheesy hash browns, she said. By 5:30 p.m., the party was going strong. Someone hooked up a generator to the disc jockey table, and the guests danced by candlelight. "It's kind of romantic," Wilkinson said. "I said, "They're probably never going to forget this one.' " This article includes reports Irom Register reporters Juli Probasco-Sowers, Ken Fuson, Beth Loberg, Sarah Clark, Tom Wilosky, Sean Keeler, Jennifer Jacobs, Lisa Livermore and Randy Peterson. .,-

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