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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois • Page 2
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois • Page 2

The Pantagraphi
Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:

Bloomingtoo Normal, III. July 24, Pantograph A-2 T7 1 1 'V 1 I Tha tornado caused this detruction at Mattit Spragua war killed when their DpClin SCCn( fH Horfon Trailer Court tatt of down- trailer, upper left, wa demolihed. (AP tCU'" JV-CIIC town Canton. Mr. Dorothy McCann and Wirepholo) Canton (AP) Window lramt lay ovtr thit arta atr iriking downtown irfinn catttrtd in tha debris of building and Canton Wtdnday night, doing damage hoHftf djma tornado ettimattd In tha million, of dollar. Two dead, millions in damage at Canton from the police station near the downtown area that was clobbered, said he was home "and there was this one helluva roar coming in from the southwest. Then I Imiked out and I couldn't believe what happened." He said virtually all the businesses in the downtown shopping district were damaged by the tornado. "It's up in the millions. I don't know how much." he said. Some looting followed the tornado, he said. "That was our biggest thing, getting up to be able to stop it." The tornado was part of a wide storm system that moved across Illinois on Wednesday night. High winds and hail caused minor damage in northern Illinois, and power outages were common particularly in the suburban area west and northwest of Chicago, state police said. for even a request for a federal disaster declaration." Jones said. Meanwhile, city officials ordered an 8:30 p.m. curfew to prevent looting and injury. They began a house-to-house search in some areas for persons who may have been trapped in the wreckage. The tw ister slammed into tly? central Illinois community of 15.000 persons Wednesday evening and several hours after sunrise Thursday electricity was still out and telephone service badly disrupted. "I know that when you get up and look around." Mayor Robert Jennings said in an early morning broadcast over a local radio station, "it's going to hit you and hit you hard." The tornado snapped off utility poles, ripped roofs off many buildings, overturned autos. uprooted scores of trees and shattered hundreds of windows. while that of a bank building collapsed, trapping two janitors inside for a time. A three-story building next to it on the city square was flattened, and the roof of an International Harvester Co. plant also was damaged badly. Officials said none of some 2.300 employes at the Harvester facility was working at the time. A pickup truck was flattened. And the twister's winds were so forceful that a 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two. Canton Police Chief James Elan estimated damage "in the millions." The Bed Cross set up an emergency center at a Canton junior high school. The tornado skipped across parts of the city, scattering glass, bricks and other debris all over and tearing signs off buildings. Elan, who lives about three blocks By T. Lea Hughe CANTON (AIM National Guardsmen moved into Canton Thursday after a tornado killed two persons and ravaged the business district. Officials estimated the damage in the millions of dollars and the number of homes and stores destroyed or damaged in the hundreds. Fifteen persons were admitted to hospitals and many more were treated and released. State civil defense Director Erie Jones said after surveying the damage that prospects for federal disaster aid were doubtful. He said that a key requirement for obtaining such assistance was extensive damage to government buildings. The damage, he said, "is almost entirely in the private sector." "My assessment is that there probably is not enough damage to qualify Police said all stores except those selling food would be required to stay closed Thursday and the town was sealed to outsiders except those on official business. Fjve persons were arrested on looting charges overnight and 250 Guardsmen from Bloomington. IX'lavan and Peoria were ordered to duty to prevent further theft and to help clear the wreckage. The fatal victims were identified as Mattie Sprague and Dorothy McCann. 69. both of the Norton Trailer Court. At various times earlier, three and four persons were reported killed, but this was not confirmed. Authorities finally said the correct number was two. Striking members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers at first refused to help restore service but later reported for work. The tornado slashed through a three-block dow ntown area including the city square and another blink farther south, and also caused extensive damage elsewhere. Authorities said at least minor damage was sustained in nearby rural areas. Heavy rains afterward hampered rescue and repair efforts. So did numerous curiosity and some looters, who forced patrols by Civil Defense workers and state, Fulton County, city and neighboring communities' police. The hospital, police station, city hall and radio station WBVS were required to operate on emergency generator-powered electricity. Of the 15 injured who were admitted to the Canton hospital, one person was transferred to a Peoria hospital, authorities said. Most downtown stores were damaged. The roof of a three-story building next to the police station was ripped off. 'That ain't no train9 Head for the basement went." Mrs. Douglas said the International Harvester Co. plant's siren blew a warning just before the storm hit. "We were kinda on the lookout for it," she said. "It sounded like a train was coming, but it wasn't a train, it was wind." 1 Willard sat on the front porch of their home. That was an instant before a tornado roared through Canton in central Illinois on Wednesday night. "We were at home here," Douglas recalled later. "We have an awning on our front door and my wife and I were sitting on the front porch. Douglas said he looked at her, "and I said, "that ain't no train, head for the "Just then the awning came down, busted the glass and in the basement we aaaaaaaaaa CANTON (AP "That train is making an awful lot of noise," Pansy Douglas said as she and her husband iCounty joins in aid to tornado victims Area residents kept the McLean County Chapter of the American Red Cross telephone lines busy Thursday morning with inquiries about friends and relatives in tornado-damaged Canton and with offers to help the ravaged city. Cary Franks, executive director of the chapter, and Mrs. Anne Ulbrich, director of service to military families and social worker, left for Canton with a communications wagon. Serv-O-Mation of Bloomington also donated a truckload of food for victims, 'a chapter spokeswoman said. Max Smith, chapter disaster chairman, was to leave this afternoon with a second communications vehicle, and the local volunteers intended to stay in Canton "as long as we are needed." The spokeswoman also said the office has received many offers of "help, food, clothing and even shelter." Please Lightning sets off spectacular fire in Moline MOLINE (AP) Lightning touched off a spectacular fire that destroyed a seven-story brick warehouse Wednesday night and injured two firemen. Damage was estimated at more than $1 million. The blaze in downtown Moline broke out shortly after 6 p.m. and burned out of control for three hours. Smoke and flames were visible through much of the Quad Cities area at the height of the fire. The building housed a furniture dealer and a bakery and other businesses. Firemen Steven Winnie, 28, and Warren Hanks, 44, were in fair condition in Moline Public Hospital where they were being treated for smoke inhalation. CANTON (UPI) Mayor Robert Jennings Wednesday night requested "onlookers, bystanders and nonresidents" to please stay of the tornado ravaged city until officials can assess its state of emergency. Jennings said officials would begin looking at the situation starting Thursday morning and would then know what kind of volunteer services will be needed. For right now, he said, the city has all the help it needs. 4 Preparation National Guard members of Head- meet with another group of 70 in Corn-quarters Company of the 123rd pany of Delavan to provide security Infantry's 1st Battalion left Bloomington for the tornado-damaged area. The men for Canton about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, were expected to return Friday night to They were joined later in the day by a prepare to leave for summer camp second group, and the 70 men were to Saturday. (Pantagraph Photo) Civil Defense: Night of watching, waiting central and west central Illinois, includ "they out that way," Thomas thought they'd better." By Jim Flannery It was 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Hudson and Stanford Civil Defense units had already checked in by radio to the county's CD nerve center in the basement of the McLean County Jail. J.A. "Al" Thomas, the county's Civil Defense director, and his assistant, Jim Wahls, were alone in the cluttered little office waiting and listening. An hour earlier, the National Weather Service in Peoria had broadcast a severe thunderstorm watch for most of At 5:40 p.m., Thomas received word that a funnel had touched down in Fulton County, about 6 miles west of Canton. It was reported to have snapped the tops off trees three and four feet in diameter. In quick succession, tornadoes were spotted near Cuba and Wyoming, and 15 minutes later a tornado ripped through downtown and eastern Canton, killing at least two persons and injuring 27. A tornado watch was issued for McLean County, and Thomas's spotter operation cranked into high gear to meet ing McLean County. In Bloomington-Normal the sun was still shining, but Thomas said he had already received a hint from the weather service that worse was to come: A bulletin that a thunderstorm with 60-mile-per-hour winds and three-quarter inch hail was moving into Fulton County- The "tops" of the clouds were at 60,000 feet a condition favorable to spawning tornadoes. St i 3 im ft the eastward moving storm head-on. Five more volunteers crammed into the tiny office to help track the storm front and receive reports of weather conditions throughout the Conversation could barely be heard above the squawk from three radios and the jangling of two telephones. Thomas dispatched 14 spotters to man seven posts, five of them located along U.S. 150 west of town. The Twin Cities' outer line of defense was posted at Covell, with another outpost on Illinois 9 just beyond the Standard Oil bulk plant. Illinois State University security guards manned their post atop Wright Hall in Normal, and Bloomington firemen climbed to the top of the State Farm building in downtown Bloomington to man theirs. Thomas dispatched one mobile spotter to drive county roads. Four other mobile spotters were on call. Dick Carrel, a 10-year veteran of Civil Defense, manned one radio, taking reports from Bloomington-Normal's 14 spotters. got the entire west side of Bloomington covered." Carrel said. His spotters, he said, were tasked with reporting back on "rain, wind and, of course, what we're really looking for the twister." Thomas was manning a second radio in contact with 26 local Civil Defense units throughout the county and with the National Weather Service in Peoria. A third radio, manned by William Rose, 513 S. Clayton, was in contact via amateur band with the county's "roving" spotter. His radio, Rose explained, also could-contact the county's Civil Air Patrol, which could be activated for assignments following a severe storm. By 6:55 p.m., Thomas had received a report from the weather service that a funnel had been reported south of Morton, and at 7:40 p.m. he received word of a touchdown near Havana. As the storm began moving east into McLean County at about 30 m.p.h., winds were being reported south of Goodfield on the Woodford County line. At about 7 p.m. the front edge of the storm began moving into the Carlock, Danvers, Stanford and McLean areas. Evergreen, Lake Park Ranger David Gates, a spotter north of town, reported winds and heavy rain. A short time later Thomas was told by Hudson Civil Defense that they had moved 40 people into the basement of the town hall. "Based on the way the weather looked By that time, steel gray-nearly black storm clouds had begun to roll over the Twin Cities. Jerry Pickett, an ISU safety officer, had been on top of Wright Hall during the height of the storm. "It really poured," He said. "At one point, visibility was less than half a block." Deane Hinshaw, 925 W. Wood, had been out spotting at the county's post at Covell when the storm rolled in. He was right out on a hill, he said, and "could see for miles-clear out to Stanford." The wind was "really whipping through thereabout 40 m.p.h.," he said. "I really wanted to get out of there at least out from beneath those By 8 p.m., Carlock had reported sun breaking through the clouds. Twenty-five minutes later Thomas had started to release spotters and had cleared the northern half of the county of the thunderstorm and tornado watch. The southern half of the county was cleared about two hours later. "We've had pretty good coverage tonight," Thomas said, with obvious pride and satisfaction. "We've had a lot of activity going on here tonight." Carrel added. "But this has been a mild watch." I iffltrj J.A. 'A' Thomas talks to weather spotters

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