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Residents digging out after tornadoes hit nation’s midsection
Question of the Day
In an interview with CNN, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback acknowledged that the damage could have been far worse, noting that residents appeared to have heeded warnings to get to safety.
“God was merciful,” Mr. Brownback said.
Yvonne Tucker rushed to a shelter with about 60 of her neighbors at Pinaire Mobile Home Park in Wichita. She said people were crying and screaming, and the shelter’s lights went out when the twister hit. When they came back outside, they found several homes destroyed, including Ms. Tucker‘s.
“I didn’t think it was that bad until I walked down my street and everything is gone,” said Ms. Tucker, 49. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I’ve seen it on TV, but when it happens to you it is unreal.
“I just feel lost.”
A hospital in Creston, about 75 miles southwest of Des Moines, suffered roof damage and had some of its windows blown out by the storm, but patients and staff were not hurt. Medical center officials were calling other area hospitals to help.
Kristin Dean, who was also among the Wichita mobile home residents taking shelter from the storm, said she was shaking as she was being pushed from home in her wheelchair. She was able to grab a bag of her possessions before going into the shelter, and that was all she had left. Her home was gone.
“It got still,” the 37-year-old woman, who is in a wheelchair after hurting her leg a month ago, recalled. “Then we heard a wham, things flying. Everybody screamed, huddling together.
“It is devastating, but you know, we are alive.”
Roxanna Hegeman reported from Wichita, Kan. Associated Press reporters Grant Schulte in Thurman, Iowa; Rochelle Hines in Oklahoma City; Timberly Ross in Omaha, Neb.; David Pitt in Osceola, Iowa; and Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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