Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois on March 1, 2012 · Page 6
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Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois · Page 6

Carbondale, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Page 6
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6A T HE S OUTHERN I LLINOISAN T HURSDAY ,M ARCH 1,2012 F ROM P AGE O NE S TART Y OUR D AY R IGHT Eggs & Meats | Biscuits & Gravy | Omelets Pancakes | Belgium Waffl es Intersection of Rt. 13 & 148 | Carterville | 618-997-2272 | M-F 6am-9pm � S-S 5:30-9pm Scan This For Kids Eat Free Special Offer Buy One Breakfast, Get 2nd One 1/2 Off! Equal or lesser value Expires 03/31/2012 SI WINKELER: Sports editor recounts the storm FROM PAGE 1 Somehow,in the dark and on autopilot,I got dressed.Now the wind was getting more and more intense. “We need to go to a safe place,”my wife said. Because we have no basement,the interior hallway where we were standing was where we needed to be. “This is it,”I told her. Then we grabbed each other and slid to the floor. The next few moments, I’m guessing it was no more than 10 seconds, were surreal.The roar of the wind echoed through our ears.It wasn’t the proverbial sound of an onrushing train,but it was loud. We heard glass breaking all around us,and we heard crashes in the distance. Then,just as quickly as it came,the wind was gone. “Where’s Beau?”Judy asked. I hadn’t seen our dog in the few minutes we had been out of bed. We both started calling for him,and in a few moments we heard the clicking of toenail against hardwood floor.It was a reassuring sound. The next few moments were spent fumbling around in the dark,looking for flashlights.The going was treacherous as broken glass littered the floors. I pushed open a bedroom door to find part of a neighbor’s house trailer had broken through our patio doors.The windows in the room were broken out. In the meantime,Judy had secured a couple of flashlights,and we surveyed the damage.We were lucky.Our house was damaged,but not structurally. After a quick survey,I went to the front door to check the yard.Beams of light were shining from a couple directions. Neighbors were all out checking their property, and going house to house checking on everyone’s safety.Fortunately,every- one in my immediate neighborhood was fine. Just a block or so east the picture was much differ- ent.Roofs were lifted off houses,other structures were destroyed.The wind, or tornado,picked up a friend’s pickup truck and moved it 30 feet. The FS building,just two blocks from our home,was flattened. Everywhere people were walking around,making sure their neighbors were fine. And,in just a matter of an hour,chain saws and tractors started cleaning up the debris. I’ve never experienced anything like this. LES WINKELER is the sports editor at The Southern Illinoisan and lives in Harrisburg.He can be reached at 618-351-5088 or les.winkeler@thesouthern. com. FROM PAGE 1 Two of the female victims were identified as Jaylynn Ferrell,22,and Mary Ruth Osman,75, both of Harrisburg.The identifications were provided by Reed Funeral Home of Harrisburg, where funeral services for both will be Saturday. Their obituaries appear on Page 5C. Watson said families for all but one of the victims had been notified,however,the coroner’s office did not expect to release the other identities Wednesday night as more family members remained to be notified. At Harrisburg Medical Center,“You had nurses here facing lots and lots of trauma in a building that had been damage,and they had lost one of their own (Ferrell),”explained Vince Ashley,chief executive. Homes in ruins Gregg said about 300 homes were heavily dam- aged.There were fears the tornado struck an assisted living center and senior’s residence center,but those locations were spared,he said. In the Country Club Hills subdivision,a hard-hit area,Karen McClusky said she emerged from hiding in her bathtub to see if her house was still there; it was. “I then went and checked on my neighbors and saw whole houses destroyed,” said McClusky,an eighth- grade social studies teacher who has lived in the neighborhood for 27 years. As she spoke,the area already banged and buzzed with the sounds of workers wielding hammers and chain saws.Some residents walked the streets to stare, take pictures or share embraces. Sherry Chrisman looked at what was left of her home and said it will have to be bulldozed.“I cater, and this is my kitchen,”she said pointing to the remains of some walls and her backyard swimming pool. Chrisman had gotten up to cook just before the storm hit.She,her daughter and a golden retriever named Mable took refuge in the basement.“The puppy was just going nuts,” she said. “The noise wasn’t that bad,it was the pressure,” Chrisman said.“My ears really hurt,and I could just feel tremendous pressure.” They had to wait for rescuers to help get them out of the rubble. “I haven’t cried once,” she said.“Not yet.” Violent tornado Rick Shanklin of the National Weather Service in Paducah,said the tornado was ranked as an EF4, meaning it is the second most-powerful on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds reaching from 166 to 200 mph. Winds reached to 170 mph early Wednesday in Harrisburg and the tornado was calculated to be about 200 yards wide, Shanklin said. Weather spotters reported the tornado touching down at 4:38 a.m.about six miles southeast of Marion and a few minutes later, about 2 miles southwest of Harrisburg. Other officials who followed the mayor talked about the rebuilding efforts under way. Harrisburg Police Chief Bob Smith said a curfew would be enacted from 6 6 areas where damage was heaviest. Command posts for emergency and other rescue responder assistance were established at Southeastern Illinois College Extension off U.S.45 near the Illinois 13 intersection.A parking lot at Rural King has also been designated as an area for relief workers. Smith said City Treasurer Charlie Will was in charge of issuing work permits necessary for anyone doing cleanup or restoration work to ensure no one would get scammed.The permits are free,but identification and registration is mandatory. — Nicholas J.C.Pistor of the St.Louis Post- Dispatch,a Lee Enterprises sister publication of The Southern Illinoisan, contributed to this report,as did The AP. 618-351-5076 CLOSURES,CANCELLATIONS Harrisburg City Council meeting scheduled for today has been canceled.It has not yet been rescheduled. The Eldorado sectional game scheduled for Wednesday’s will be played tonight; Harrisburg and Benton will play at 7:30 p.m. Harrisburg Unit 3 schools have canceled classes through Friday. All classes and events at SIC are canceled for the rest of the week.Mid-term exams are postponed until after spring break. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s State Rail Plan public meeting was canceled Wednesday. TORNADO: Six killed Wednesday in Harrisburg CHRISTOPHER KAYS / FOR THE SOUTHERN This is a look down South Club Street in Harrisburg after a tornado Wednesday. Survivor tells her story BYSCOTTFITZGERALD THE SOUTHERN HARRISBURG — Ruby Milligan,who is in her 70s, has been living in her south Harrisburg neighborhood known as Dorrisville her whole life and both she and her husband,Bert,have never experienced a storm like Wednesday’s. “I’ve been here my whole life,and I’ve never seen one like this,”she said late Wednesday afternoon after visiting with Gov.Pat Quinn,who toured the devastated neighborhood and visited with residents. Milligan said she was getting ready to go to work when the winds began howling.Her son,Earl,had pulled the car out of the garage. Earl Milligan came inside and the family stood in the center of the house withstanding the tornado. Six front windows shattered. Two roof awnings became unhinged and fell to the ground.The wind picked up Bert’s wooden swing set and slung it across the street.The Milligans hung on and escaped injury.The roof was severely damaged. Throughout the afternoon,neighbors,relatives and family relatives pitched in to begin the massive cleanup and rebuilding effort. Earl Milligan said some comfort comes in the fact their house is insured. 618-351-5076 PAULNEWTON / THE SOUTHERN Avan is surrounded by debris after it was thrown Wednesday in Harrisburg.Six people have been confirmed dead. STEVE JAHNKE / THE SOUTHERN Astrip mall just off of Rollie Moore Drive was flattened by the tornado. PAULNEWTON / THE SOUTHERN Keith Hucke (left) and Devyn Byrd,14,of Harrisburg,survey the damage sustained to Hucke’s house after a tornado.Hucke said he was in his bed when the wall next to him collapsed. CLICK & CONNECT: Go to to see aerial footage of the damage in Harrisburg.

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