The Minneapolis Star from Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 8, 1969 · Page 31
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The Minneapolis Star from Minneapolis, Minnesota · Page 31

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Issue Date:
Friday, August 8, 1969
Page 31
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11 B Northwoods scarred, broken by nature's deadly bulldozer Frl., Aub. , 1969 1 HE MINNEAPOLIS STAR i By DAVID NIMMER and TODD OTIS Minneapolis Star Staff Writtri From the air, it looked as though a giant bulldozzer had rumbled across the green northwoods of Minnesota, leaving in its path an ugly, brown scar more than a mile wide. This was the mark of one tornado that struck Minnesota's lake country Wednesday, killing 10 and injuring scores. Smaller twisters touched down at two lakes on the Iron Range, killing three persons. But the most devastating swept along a 35-mile path from Emily on the west to Hill City on the east. Thousands of trees birches, Norways, jackpines and popples were strewn like matchsticks. Some were uprooted. The tops of others were snapped off. They landed in every direction. Cleanup begins Minneapolis Star Photos by Charles BjorRen COUNTY HIGHWAY WORKERS AT LAKE LEAVETT Worked to clear roads after tornado Thursday morning, volunteers and local authorities began to clean up after the storm, which did its heaviest damage in the Outing area in north central Minnesota. It was here, at Roosevelt Lake, that nine persons were Looting checks killed as the tornaao roarea tnrougn aDout a p.m. wea-nesday. Four were at a camp operated by Bethany Fellowship and four others were at the Simmons Log Cabin Camp that was destroyed. A barge towing a dragline was chugging up and down in front of the Bethany camp Thursday. Two youngsters who were staying at the camp are still missing. The woods around Leavett und Roosevelt lakes were buzzing with the sound of dozens of chain saws, as cottage owners and Cass County highway crews tried lo clear the roads. Kevin Hillberg, a 19-year-old highway crewman, was covered with sweat and sawdust by noon Thursday. "Some of these trees are awfully big," he said. "It's taking us a half hour to clear 30 feet of road.' The town hall in Outing was the center of the cleanup and search operations. Volunteers and authorities gathered for coffee, food and soft drinks. There were National Guardsmen, sheriffs deputies, highway patrolmen and workers from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Minnesota Conservation Department. It was at the town hall where lake residents got passes allowing them to enter the area. Deputies politely asked all motorists returning from the devastated areas to open the trunks of their cars, in an attempt to thwart looting. A peaceful-looking park about a half-mile from' the town hall served as a landing pad tor helicopters that carried reporters as well as Gov, Harold LeVander. LeVander arrived shortly after noon, toured the area by car and helicopter, and said he would declare both Cass and St, Louis counties disaster areas, "I am dismayed alter seeing this sight." the governor said. "1 think it' is the most devastating tornado 1 have ever seen. It is just tragic," Estimates of the number of homes or cabins destroyed in the Outing area ranged from 60 to 100. No one even cared to guess how many trees were torn up or split in half. Clint Converse, a member of the Minnesota Forestry Department, ventured that it would "be a long time before this area looks like a part of the northwoods again." Converse said it takes almost M years for hardwood trees to attain their full growth and more than 50 years for Norway pines to reach maturity. At the Cuyuna Range Hospital in Crosby, 25 miles from Outing, 20 of the 24 tornado victims admitted Wednesday were still hospitalized early Thursday evening. A hospital spokesman said all were in good condition, however. Among the casualties we:e eight cleanup volunteers treated at the hospital, most for cuts on their hands and feet from the broken glass. s LIST OF 34 STORM INJURED Thirty-four persons remained hospitalized today in five northern Minnesota hospitals as a result of a series of tornadoes that killed 13 persons Wednesday. Three of the 34 were listed in serious condition. ' The rest were listed in either fair, satisfactory or good condition. The injured by hospital: St. Luke's Hospital, Duluth: Cindy Heitala, 12, Duluth, serious; Jody Norell, 9, Duluth, serious; Mrs. Diane Norell, 27, Duluth, satisfactory. Hibbing General Hospital, Hibbing: Howard Danielson, 26, serious, intensive care. Itasca Memorial Hospital, Grand Rapids: 2 salve bruises with beer after unscheduled flight Walter Lund, 60, Flood-wood, satisfactory; Mrs. Mary Mayzlik, 83, Flood-wood, satisfactory. Chisholm Memorial Hospital, Chisholm: Mrs. Ethel Maki, 48, Buhl, good; Susan Eskolin, 11, Buhl, good; Edward Gramm, 66, Harrisburg, Pa., good; Mrs. Frances Gramm, 55, satisfactory; Mrs. Julia Jordan, 55, Buhl, good. St. Joseph's Hospital, Brainerd: Kathy Chalich, 17, Backus, suffered back injuries, transferred to University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis; Barbara Chalich, 18, Backus, good; Mark Holden, 18, Backus, good. Cuyuna Range Hospital, Crosby: Wallace Marsh, Allison, Iowa, good; Mrs. Wallace Marsh, 64, Allison, Iowa, fair; Mrs. Eleanor Marko, 36, St. Louis Park, fair; Daniel Marko, 10, St. Louis Park, fair; Pamela Marko, 5, St. Louis Park, good; Jean Marko, 3, St. Louis Park, good; Mrs. Priscilla Dugan, 33, Huron, S.D., fair; Ronald Dugan, 17, Canoga Park, Calif., fair; Shane Dugan, 7, Huron, S.D., fair; Milo Mielke, 66, Robbinsdale, fair; Mrs. Lavina Mielke, 61, Robbinsdale, fair; Patrick Sullivan, 22, Comanche, Iowa, fair; Jill Sullivan, 19, Comanche, Iowa, good; Alvin Reynolds, 45, Austin, fair; Mrs. Carol Batey, 34, Clinton, Iowa, fair; Mrs. Harold Brokke, 42, Bloomington, fair; Henry Carr, 46, St. Paul, fair; Tim Carr, 10, St. Paul, fair; Mrs. Alvila Tyler, Comanche, Iowa, fair; Robert Steiner, 47, St. Paul, good. There are times in every man's life when nothing satisfies like a cold can of beer. But Robert Steiner and Al Reynolds, two of the survivors of Wednesday's tornado, might be accused of carrying it to an extreme. The two men had just been literally blown out of their cabin on the shore of Leavett Lake by the tornado that touched down about 5 p.m. Steiner, who lives at 952 Edmund Av., St. Paul, was tossed about 125 feet by the winds as he stepped onto the front porch to see what the "roaring noise" was all about. From Austin Reynolds,? who lives in Austin, flew out of the cabin right behind the front wall and although the wind didn't carry him as far as it did Steiner, he found himself beneath a pile of rubble. Steiner picked himself up and pulled Reynolds from under the lumber, screens and branches. The two sat on the ground as Steiner tended to a nasty cut on Reynolds' forehead. Then he looked at his partner and said: "Al, I know it sounds kind of funny, but let's have a beer." Steiner ! walked back to where the cabin had been, poked through the debris and found two intact cans of cold beer. The two men sat on a fallen tree branch and drank their beer. Then they heard the cries for help from a neighbor whose son had been injured. Vhen they found it im possible to get the boy out by road because the fallen trees blocked their path, they commandeered a row-boat that had survived the storm and rowed across the lake for help. Rescuers arrive Rescuers came with a boat, picked up the boy and his father and took them to the hospital at Crosby. Later Steiner and Reynolds managed to row down to the south edge of the lake, beach their boat and stumble ashore just as an ambulance was moving along the lakeshore road. Thursday, Reynolds was sitting in the solarium of the Cuyuna Range Hospital, Crosby, shaking his head. "I still can't believe it," he said. "I keep thinking, it didn't happen, it didn't happen. My God, the force of those winds. "When Bob (Steiner) opened the door of that cabin to see what that goofy noise was, I watched him get lifted straight up in the air. "I saw his feet disappear above the roof line." Steiner, 47, suffered a broken wrist and Reynolds, 45, was being treated for head cuts and bruises. After tornado, one family is still smiling When a tornado sweeps through a town as it did Wednesday night in the little resort village of Outing, Minn., there are only the lucky and the unlucky. Some lose their families, their homes and their belongings. And there arc the lucky ones. Mrs. John Naeseth and her two children, of 100 W. 59th St. in Minneapolis, were among them. For Mrs. Naeseth who was at the family's summer cottage on the east shore of Leavett Lake when the tornado struck, everything seemed to happen right. She was "running a little late" in getting on her way back to Minneapolis with the children. She went upstairs to close the windows and spotted the swirling, black clouds heading across the lake. The children, John, 8, and Joan, 18, were in the house so she quickly got them and the two family dogs into a basement room and under a table. The tornado winds which swept up the bank in front of the cottage, snapping off the tops of Norway pines and tearing popple trees out by the roots, miraculously passed over the house, ripping off only a few shingles on the roof. Even the two boats, at the edge of the lake, were undamaged. "There's no doubt about it," Mrs. Naeseth said. "We were just real lucky. Maybe it wasn't all luck though. We were all praying when the tornado passed over." Her husband, an inspector for Northwest Airlines, drove to the cabin Wednesday night, after his wife had called to say everyone was all right, to begin the cleanup operations. "Oh, we lost a lot of trees, that's for sure. And they were really beautiful. But just look across the lake," he said Thursday. There he could see the remains of four cottages the winds had destroyed. Mattresses were thrown against tree stumps. Boats were tossed up on the shore, several split in half. A house trailer was overturned. A radio was lodged in the crotch of a tree. Sections of docks were floating down the shore. "Yep," he said, "We were lucky. Even our outhouse Old Ironsides is still standing." AL REYNOLDS, 45, AND BOB STEINER, 47, AMONG INJURED In hospital at Crosby after tornado tossed them around 1FINAL SALE BW SUMMER CLQTMES ALMOST EVERYTHING CUT 5oU lo SPRING COATS, RAINCOATS $20-$125.. Formerly $56 - $395. DESIGNER DRESSES AND COSTUMES $25-$98. Formerly $76 - $235. JUNIOR, MISSES DRESSES, COSTUMES, PANT OUTFITS ON TWO NOW $10-$49. Formerly $23 -$130. SUMMER SHOES, SANDALS $5, $10, $15. Formerly $10 -$42. SPORTSWEAR, BATHING SUITS $3-$30. Formerly $12 -$90. Shop weekdays 9 to 5:30 Monday 9 to 9, 2919 Hennepin, Sorry no phone or mail orders, All Sales Final. H M RESIDENTS AND FRIENDS SEARCHED RUINS OF LAKE ROOSEVELT CABIN Nine persons in the area were killed when tornadoes struck Wednesday

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