Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on July 27, 1993 · 5
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 5

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 27, 1993
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TUESDAY, JULY 27. 1993 LINCOLN. NE. JOURNAL STATELOCAL C 35:,J . h tv t ... Lincoln could drown monthly rainfall record BY ROBYNN TYSVER Lincoln Journal ASSOCIATED PRESS A tornado ripped through a subdivision northwest of Scottsbluff Monday afternoon, damaging and destroying several homes. The tornado also mieu uw ruoi on a lurniture store. . -: . , . Furniture store, 10 houses west of city damaged or destroyed SCOTTSBLUFF (AP) - A tornado ; struck west of here Monday after- noon, ripping the roof off a furniture ! store, cutting through a housing sub- division and injuring at least 10 peo- pie. All of the injured were treated and 'released, said Kathi Yost, Regional - West Medical Center nursing supervisor. . , Four were injured in car accidents ; as they tried to steer clear of the tor- nado's path, she said. Others were hurt when a twister struck the furni-; ture store. V , People hung onto furniture legs and ; watched couches fly overhead as the tornado struck the store. "It was an unforgettable experi-, ence to lay on the floor and watch a couch fly over your head," said Ron ' Hauck, - Discount Furniture store . manager. : . , . ,.; ., "We're fortunate that nobody was seriously injured," Hauck added as he ; reached into his pants pocket and pulled a piece of glass that had been poking into his leg. "I had just walked into the store ;when, someone hollered, 'Hit -' the deck!" said TJ. Martin of Scottsbluff. "I jumped between a couple of couches and the next thing I knew was the roof blew off and came crash-ing down. People .were screaming. : The whole thing lasted about two sec-' onds." ' - :. "Oh my God, how could this have . happened to me!" cried owner Shir-' "It was an unforgettable experience to lay on the floor and watch a couch fly over your head." Ron Hauck, Discount Furniture store manager ley Purnell as she looked at the building she and her husband bought in 1975. . As the storm hit, Hauck stood by the front door and motioned passers-by inside. .. .... Discount Furniture suffered about $175,000 in damage from the storm, which also cut through a housing development northwest of the city. About 10 homes in the development reportedly were damaged, some possibly destroyed. The Platte Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to set up a shelter and provide food for any displaced residents, said City Fire Marshall Ken Meyer. In Mitchell, 10 miles northwest of Scottsbluff, residents sought cover as baseball-size hail showered the town. Many residents scooped up chunks of hail and put them in their freezers to show to family members. Several Panhandle communities also reported marble- to golfball-size . hail. Don Campbell, 39, was working at ' Island Cattle Co. outside of Scottsbluff when the storm hit "It was big," he said. "Everyone got ; down in the storm shelter but I ran to my trailer to get my camera." Campbell, who moved to Scotts bluff from New Mexico, said it was his first tornado. "When I came out again I saw a huge black funnel coming out of the clouds but then it just kind of dissipated," he said. "I wasn't frightened. I just wanted to get some pictures. The adrenalin was really flowing." At the Scotts Bluff Country Club, Reed Richards and Mark Roth were working near the pro shop building when they saw the twister form. "We just looked out, and we noticed the clouds were circling. We thought it had to be a tornado starting," Roth said. "We looked out again, and there was this humongous white cloud out over our range. I was pretty scared." Farther east, heavy rain reduced visibility to about 100 yards five miles northwest of Ogallala, according to the National Weather Service. As the system continued moving east, winds ripped the roof off the Adams County Fairgrounds horse barn Monday night. The 60-mph winds also knocked down' trees at Roseland, Harvard and GlenviL Heavy rains in Adams County caused lowland flooding in Hastings, which helped clean up damage from a July 8 windstorm. "People had piled their branches Jet stream finally cooperating BY AL J. LAUKAITIS Lincoln Journal Break out the sunglasses and sunscreen! Almost two months of monsoon- like weather is coming to an end ," at least for awhile, forecasters say. " Even though a thunderstorm rumbled through Lincoln this morn-' ing, forecasters say there will be a 1 noticeable change in the weather - beginning Wednesday. Lincoln and other parts of south-r east Nebraska will have normal summerlike weather at least I through the weekend, said Tony Fulkerson, a meteorologist for the : Weather Channel in Atlanta. "You should get a pretty good break Wednesday, Thursday and . Friday and Saturday. It will be mostly dry with temperatures in the 90s by the end of the week," Ful-; kerson said. But, he said, there's a , chance of rain Saturday night and Sunday. The weather is changing because the jet stream is moving northward ' where it should be at this time of year, Fulkerson said. For the last two months the jet stream has been straddling the Midwest, causing rain to fall almost daily. The result has been record rainfalls' and major flooding throughout the Midwest But that jet stream is being pushed northward into Canada by a high-pressure system that until now has been over the southeastern part of the United States. That is the same high-pressure system that has been causing record high temperatures and drought in that area. "The high pressure will build west across the central states and bridge across the northern central states," Fulkerson said. "This is going to force the jet stream far- , ther north into Canada where it should be this time of year." And there's more good news. Fulkerson said it looks like southeast Nebraska and other parts of the flood-soaked Midwest will have a normal August There still will be an occasional overnight thunderstorm, but not the daily rain the Midwest has experienced in June and July, Fulkerson said. But not everyone is so optimistic. Harry Morgan, a forecaster with the National Weather Service Office in Kansas City, Mo, agreed that the weather pattern is breaking and normal summerlike weather is returning at least for awhile. But he cautions that the same weather pattern that dominated the Midwest for the last two months could back into the same "comfortable" pattern. Damages from storms can be included in president's disaster-area declaration ; HOW TO GET HELP - Federal and state disaster officials say damage caused by weekend storms in Ne- .' . braska can be included in President Clinton's declaration of the state as a disaster area. Anyone suffering damages to business and personal property since June 23 can apply for federal disaster, aid, said Stanley Heng, Nebraska's adjutant general and civil defense director. Help could include: disaster housing, loans to repair homes and replace personal property, loans for agricultural and small business losses, and disaster unemployment benefits. ; To qualify, you must provide: your Social Security number, address, information about damages, your insurance policy number or the agent and company name, directions to the property and a current phone num- r To report damage, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Application Line at 800-462-9029 or 800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. Both numbers can be called from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. - Or visit FEMA'i Disaster Application Center at Everett School, 1123 C St, on Wednesday or the Bellevue Center at First Baptist Church, 23rd and Hancock streets, Friday and Saturday. .;. i . , P HELP ALREADY HERE - The first disaster housing checks totaling $16,334 for Nebraska victims of storms and flooding have been mailed from FEMA. The money can be used ; to make homes habitable or rent temporary housing. SEE IT ON TV - "The Flood of '93," a public television special telling : the story of the floods that have devastated the Midwest will air at 7 ' p.m. Wednesday on stations of the Nebraska ETV Network. - ROADS CLOSED - The Nebraska State Patrol reported these ; roads closed this morning : Nebraska 2, Nebraska City to Iowa line (bridge closed); . Nebraska 5, between Nebraska 4 andU.S.136; - ' ... 'Nebraska 8, Pawnee-Richardson county line east to junction of U.S. 75 and Nebraska 8; Nebraska SI, east of Bancroft J Nebraska 67, Nemaha to Shubert; : ' Nebraska 74, west of Ayr; Nebraska 128, west of Lorton; U.S. 75, Nebraska-Kansas line to junction with Nebraska 8; U.S. 77, Beatrice at the Blue River bridge; U.S. 136, West Court Street bridge, Beatrice; U.S. 136 detour, closed 8 miles east of Beatrice; U.S. 136, Brownville bridge over Missouri River closed (U.S. 136 open Auburn to Brownville) ; U.S. 159, closed at Missouri River (bridge is damaged); Nebraska Spur S13K, closed from Nebraska 50 to Weeping Water. ROAD INFORMATION - For ' most current road information, call these numbers: Nebraska: Lincoln, 471-4533; Omaha, 553-5000; Norfolk, 371-8190; Grand Island, 308-384-3555; North Platte; 308-532-0623; and Scottsbluff, 308-632-1351. Colorado statewide, 303-639-1234; Denver area, 303-639-1111. Illinois -800-452-4368. Iowa -515-288-1047. Kansas -913-2664135. , Minnesota - 800-542-0220. North Dakota - 800472-2686. South Dakota - 605-330-6078. ! MQ2Hifc ! LUBE 17th&'N'St 476-9466 Full Service Oil Change Quaker State, Valvolint, Ptnnioll A Havolln Only M.H) Wt cimiiot oil, Iiltw ! evart W etwek and fill: tronunhilon fluM, I krakt fluid, battery fluM, owtr llterlnf I fluid, wailwr fluid. I W check antl freeie, olr filter, wiper I blade, tire pretwre, vacuum Interior, wash window. I NO I Appolntmtntt I Nrctssory I Most brands available txplret M-fl I Mon.-Frl.ttoe I at.lte4 Oast Sarvltn In I out in the street from the last storm and the branches are floating down the street" said Marilyn Kampsnider of Hastings. Hastings firefighters and police rescued a Honolulu couple from their car, which was stalled and filling with water at a flooded railroad underpass about 9:45 am Monday. Water covered about two-thirds of the car when the rescuers arrived. "The water was chest deep and filling rapidly," said Hastings Fire Chief Jim Mitera. "In a few seconds or minutes, they would have been in very serious trouble." Geraldine Caldwell said Monday's downpour in Hastings reminded her of heavy rain during Hawaiian hurricanes. The Caldwells, in Hastings to visit relatives, were treated at a Hastings hospital and released. "One man, bless his heart, tried to rescue us, but the water got to be too much for him," she said. "People here are wonderful" Flood warnings remain in effect through tonight for the lower Republican and Wood rivers in central Nebraska. Holdrege and Hastings are in the flood watch area. The weather service said counties in the Wood River basin received significant rainfall since Monday night prompting more potential flooding along that river through Wednesday. Overton reported some flooding of low-lying areas this morning. Raindrops keep falling and weather statisticians keep crunching the numbers in this record-breaking year of the rain cloud ' Consider this: Four statewide and Lincoln-area records could topple this month when Mother Nature gets done showering her attention on July. By anyone's guess, July is going to be one for the record books. Since 1878, Lincoln's rainfall in July has never surpassed 12 inches. But with five days left in the month, Lincoln could easily break the 12-inch barrier and go on to challenge the all-time wettest month on record. In fact Lincoln stands a better than average shot of surpassing the wettest month in the city's history a record set in August 1910 with 1421 inches. . As of Monday afternoon, Lincoln recorded 11.82 inches of rain, 2.39 inches short of the all-time high. And, in this month of mind-bending weather, 2.39 inches in five days is not nearly as impossible as most people would like. : It is all enough to drive usually conservative meterologists to use adjectives like "exceptional" and "unique." "This long-term pattern, of it being so wet since June, is highly unusual," said Roy Osugi, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha. Even on a statewide level July is stacking up to be a rain breaker. Since 1931, the state's highest average rainfall for July totaled 6.77 inches. Osugi figures the state average this year will fall somewhere between 6 and 8 inches. And he says that July could surpass the wettest month in Nebraska's history, June 1967, which had 8.19 inches. "I think we have a very good chance of breaking the July record and we have an outside chance of beating the all-time high record, at least back to 1931 And that's an exceptional record," Osugi said. With this news in hand, dont expect a large number of Nebraskans to gather on O Street in Lincoln and cheer the month onward to victory. But then, Lincoln has already tasted the bitter ale of victory this summer and does not need a cheering section. By itself, the 11.82 inches of rain that has fallen so far in Lincoln is the record high for any July going back to 1878. Only twice before have July rainfalls in the Capitol City exceeded 11 "We're bouncing farther ; away from the average . . . : (we're bouncing) from significant drought to significant wet spell." -; : Airutcher; High Plains Climate Center . inches: 11.40 inches in 1958 and 1L35 1 inches in 1902. ' But enough of these misty reminis- ; cences. To put it all in perspective, one should consider those parched years of yore in the Dirty '30s. Thei driest July in Lincoln was recorded uv the Dust Bowl year of 1938, when a; mere 0.08 inch felL - Not enough to wet the whistle of a huninungbird. ' ? It would seem then, by looking at the historical chart, that for every tropical year a drought waits in the " wings. After all weather is nothing if not cyclical ,. Z: "1 call it a balancing act There is 9 1! reason we have averages. When we have three or four years below average, then something has to make up ! . that average," said Al Dutcher with ;; the High Plains Climate Center in -Lincoln. ; .--y People concentrate on the present and the "norm" is determined by what's happening at a given time. "You get into a mind set that thC; last three or four years was normal,'-he said. "Except for September od 1992 it's been wet, above normal across the state." And what is normal for July in Lincoln? About 2.60 inches of rain. ' t Although weather is cyclical,' Dutcher believes that the extremes are getting, well, more extreme, S "We're bouncing farther away from, the average ... (were bouncing) from significant drought to signifi- cant wet spell," he said. r Z '. '. And now it is time for one last ; statistic. : v ! The highest annual rainfall in Lin-" I coin fell in 1965 with a year-end total ; of 41.33 inches. As of Monday, . 28 I inches had fallen in the city since ' January, putting Lincoln a mere 13 ; inches away from setting a record yearly high. ; ; Breast Prostheses Mastectomy Bras MOMS natcrntty and Children Merkton Park 6900"OBSt Appointments App. 4644667 Bathroom Restoration Uncoln, Nebraska (402)432-0169 Storm Damage? Home Improvement Loans Lincoln Bank South has set aside low rate loan funds to help area residents repair storm damage or complete new home improvement projects. Call us for details. I Incoln Qank SOUTH (1 423-2361 uInmS 4100 South 27th Member FDIC r J ry in- 7 -far i i Vn vi . '-fit - fig Choose For Days For Call now and order the 95 30 day preview and you'll receive 2 movie channels, (your choice, HBO, Showtime, TMC, or Clnemax), multiplexing, free Installation, remote control plus nine additional channels. . All This Fop Under $H DS The savings are off the charts but this offer won't last long. Call now, offer expires August 6th, 1993. Call Now 421-0300 CsibBeVEsioo MORE THAN JUST TELEVISION rtrtrlctloni may apply. Any Introductory subscription offtr pood tor tptclllod tlmt only. Thereafter standard monthly eharoot apply.

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