The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 24, 2001 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 24, 2001
Page:
Page 8
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A8 TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2001 HOISINGTON TORNADO THE SALINA JOURNAL Storm / Parsons residents among volunteers FROM PAGE A1 The twister, which was rated as an F-4, claimed the life of 69-year-old Gerald Tauscher. Volunteers came from Parsons, which was hard hit by a twister nearly a year ago to the day They came from Dodge City, LaCrosse, EUinwood, Hays, Cunningham, Bushton, Russell, Mulvane and other cities throughout the area. About 100 prisoners from Kansas Department of Corrections facilities in Larned, Norton and Ellsworth spent the day cleaning, as did workers from Mennonite Disaster Services, Christian Disaster Relief, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other organizations. The outpouring of support was overwhelming to City Manager Allen Dinkel, who had slept only four hours since learning of the devastation while attending a wedding dance Saturday night in Hays. Dinkel was at Roosevelt Elementary School Monday afternoon, meeting with a state assessment team working to attach a dollar figure to the loss. Although no final figure had been calculated, Dinkel said the loss probably will total into the millions. Workers with the Federal Emergency Management Agency wandered the halls of the school, which were decorated with children's photos in frames of brightly colored flowers. "Friendship is Blooming," was written on the bulletin board, in delicate script, over the photos. Next to the wall, cafeteria tables were stacked with clipboards and red, yellow and green papers, used to tag buildings as "safe," "unsafe," "limited entry" and "habitable." Dinkel said the disaster response, the assessments — everything was going according to a plan established by the county's Local Emergency Planning Committee. And volunteers from out-of- town were providing a great deal of assistance. "The outpouring has been JUSTIN HAYWORTH / The Sallna Journal Two days after the deadly tornado rolled through Hoisington, residents still try to clean up the massive amount of debris. great," he said. Before 6 a.m. Sunday Dinkel received a fax from the city manager of Parsons, outlining the procedures used after a tornado struck there. A crew of Parsons city workers arrived Monday morning to help, bringing with them machinery and equipment. The city of Great Bend donated $20,000 to an emergency fund, which was matched by Marmie Motors of Great Bend. The fund now holds more than $100,000. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army, Dinkel said, were providing an invaluable service, giving out food and drink to workers and operating emergency shelters. "They provide service with such care and compassion," Dinkel said. "Those Red Cross cots are comfortable if you're tired." Dinkel said some have talked about whether people whose homes were destroyed will move away from Hoisington. "People are not going to leave town," he said. "We're just going to redesign a portion of town. That's exciting. Now we have some chances. We're going to rise above it." As Dinkel met with assessors and media and handled the affairs of the city, his wife and relatives from Hoisington, Hays and elsewhere dealt with the damage to his home, which he had seen only briefly Saturday night. "The attached garage is gone, and we now have a sun roof in part of our house," Dinkel said. "It's a tough issue. While we do this, our spouses handle the family issues. Family pulls together." The family of City Clerk Donita Crutcher also had to do without her assistance as they dealt with the disaster Bob Crutcher, who works at the municipal power plant, was at work and his wife was home alone when the twister struck. She took the dog and one of the family's parrots to the basement seconds before the tornado hit. "She went down and the refrigerator and stove came in behind her," said Darlene Wernette of Hoisington, whose daughter is married to the Crutchers' son. "There was no warning. There was no seeing it. It was dark." When Bob Crutcher got home, the stove was wedged in the basement stairway, trapping his wife. It took about 15 minutes to free her The couple's second parrot — in a cage too large to make it down the basement steps — was found in the neighbor's front yard, alive and well and still in its cage. "He wasn't too happy," Bob Crutcher said. Friends and family helped the couple Sunday and Monday, and all of the family photos were recovered. "We have been very fortunate here," Wernette said. "We found the baby pictures, the irreplaceable stuff I can't believe we found all the photos." The Salina Journal and TOMA can workfor your business, even when located outside of Salina. Norva Allison, owner of The Fashion Palette in Minneapolis, KS, is very pleased with the amount of new traffic and revenue her TOMA ads have produced. "I have at least one new client each week. I'm always amazed and tickled when new people come in and say they saw my ad in their hometown paper. IS^ Ibrtiaf ad has helped me iricrease my business tremendously!" The Fashion Palette Doiyntown Minneapolis 785-392-3035 9-5; Monday-Saturday • Aner hours by Appointment Bob Crutcher said it was amazing to him that one could find the church program from a couple's anniversary, old scrapbooks, kitchen utensils, but find no sign of a full suite of bedroom furniture. As he hauled things from the basement to a large moving trailer, he laughed. "You lose everything but your sense of humor," he said. They found plenty of humor, or oddities, in the storm. At the Dairy Queen, Wernette said, the manager had set out trays of cheese and crackers and a deli tray on the counter in readiness for an after-prom party. "The building was destroyed around them. The cheese and deli trays were untouched. If you looked in the window just right you could see them, just sitting on the counter," Wernette said. At the Andereck home, it was a 1992 Corvette that brought a twist to the twister tale. Zach Andereck, 18, had borrowed his aunt's Corvette to drive his date to the prom. Hearing the severe thunderstorm warnings, his parents picked up the Corvette and left, in its place Zach's pickup truck — the oldest vehicle the family owned. "We went and got it so it wouldn't get hailed on," Becky Andereck, Zach's mother, said with a wry smile. The Corvette, which had been parked in the family's garage, was destroyed. Zach's pickup truck, parked at the American Legion, was untouched. Kenny Steinert, whose house was destroyed, recalled how his elderly neighbor weathered the storm in a closet on the top floor of her two-story home. The Steinerts heard cries for help as they emerged from their basement after the tornado struck. They looked over to find the woman perched on a pile of debris. "Both stories of the house fell through into the basement," Steinert said as he gazed at the debris-filled hole. "If she'd have made it into her basement, she'd have been gone." As Steinert turned from his neighbor's house, a woman handed him a videocassette copy of the movie "Twister," which she said she had found near her car. Steinert looked at it briefly and let it slip from his fingers. It fell to the ground, near a chunk of twisted metal and a downed tree limb. "I seen it," he said, as he walked away. • Reporter Sharon Montague can be reached at 8236464, Ext. 129, or by e-mail at sjsmontague@saljournal.com. 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