COLUMBIA, Mo. (Nov. 10, 1998) -- Powerful winds flattened 20 homes in this
Missouri college town and sent residents scurrying into the streets in the
early Tuesday morning hours.
Officials say another 50 to 100 structures were damaged on Columbia's
southeast edge, where a mix of families and University of Missouri college
students call home. At least 16 people received minor injuries.
"Somebody was saying it was like all of the air was sucked out of the
buildings for 10 or 15 seconds," said Kate Harry, who works at the Newman
Center, a Roman Catholic ministry located on the UM campus.
The center is serving as a clothing distribution center for those who lost
possessions in the storm. Staff members also are working with some 25
parish families who lived in the affected Southridge area.
Single family homes and duplexes -- most of them five years old or less --
dotted the subdivision. Harry is concerned that college students living
there may not carry renter's insurance and thus will not be reimbursed for
While the Newman Center begins catering to its families, other
organizations are pitching in as well.
The Community Harvest Food Bank, the Voluntary Action Center the Salvation
Army and the local American Red Cross chapter are providing food, shelter
and disaster relief, reports the Rev. John D. Baker at First Baptist Church
Woodcrest Chapel Baptist Church scheduled a dinner Tuesday night for storm
survivors, he added.
Columbia is just one community in a wide swath of storms that dumped snow
in the Upper Midwest, toppled trees and caused power outages throughout the
nation's midsection. At least seven deaths are attributed to the storm,
which ranged from North Dakota to Texas.
More than nine inches of snow fell in the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota.
Fueled by strong winds, blowing snow made driving hazardous and caused some
600 miles of highways to close.
Top wind speeds reached 95 mph. Gusts blew down power lines, which led to
widespread interrupted electrical service and blackouts for hundreds of
thousands of residents. Strong winds also uprooted trees, and four deaths
are attributed to falling trees.
Posted Nov. 11, 1998
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