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Cleanup continues in Cincy suburbs


MONTGOMERY, OH (April 13, 1999) -- Cleanup continues in suburban Cincinnati

as residents recover from an April 9 twister that killed four people,

injured 40 more and damaged or destroyed nearly 900 residences in a

three-county area.

The storm especially hit the Montgomery and Blue Ash communities on the

Cincinnati's northeast side. These two affluent suburbs bore the brunt of

the storm that caused millions of dollars in property damage, although

disaster officials report most of the homes and business carried insurance.

Still, homeowners may still find themselves with needs that will be unmet by

insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is still completing

damage assessments.

Ohio is seeking federal aid to assist in the cleanup and rebuilding, which

could take at least six weeks.

At least 88 homes were totally destroyed with up to 200 more severely

damaged -- nearly all of these in Hamilton County. Clinton and Warren

counties had nearly 70 homes affected.

The Ohio National Guard is assisting local and state officials are handling

much of the cleanup, with churches contributing volunteers to the effort.

Due to the high level of insurance, an organized interfaith response is

unlikely, according to Church World Service officials, however, local faith

communities have responded to immediate needs.

The Cincinnati-area Salvation Army set up mobile canteens and counselors to

complement similar efforts by the American Red Cross.

George T. Siddall Jr., a Church World Service disaster resources consultant

living in Cincinnati said homes in the $350,000 to $600,000 range are

common in the Blue Ash and Montgomery areas hit by the storm.

At Lakeview United Church of Christ, located near the disaster area, Pastor

Dave Schwab said his congregation is helping in local cleanup efforts.

But Ohio wasn't the only state to feel nature's wrath as storms raged across

the country last week.

One elderly woman died when a suspected tornado struck a mobile home park in

Ashland, IL. Three others were injured. The scene was similar scene in

Cisco, where a woman died and three others were injured when strong winds

destroyed a farmhouse.

Tornadoes destroyed farm buildings and equipment and downed power lines near

Pittsfield, while twisters in Janesville and near Charleston caused minor

damage. Strong winds also blew down mobile homes and knocked out power

throughout central Illinois. In Missouri, Fifty homes in between Eugene and

Wardsville in Cole County were damaged, but no injuries were reported. A

tornado blew the roofs of two homes destroyed a grain bin in Novelty.

Also in Missouri, a home was destroyed in Linn by a twister. In Midway, at

least two people suffered injuries as tornadoes damaged homes and downed

several trees and power lines, while in nearby Hallsville, three buildings

sustained damage. Twisters damaged several homes in Louisiana and

Lewistown, where a man was carried two blocks in his pickup truck.

Officials reported several farm structures destroyed in Lewis County.

Several twisters tore across the Iowa landscape and leveled rural structures

in its path. Meanwhile, farm buildings bore the brunt of tornadoes in four

Nebraska communities when midday twisters hit the Cornhusker State.

Updated April 13, 1999

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