Rebuilding After a Tornado

November 20, 2013
Mary Sutherlin looks at what's left of her home Tuesday, November 19 in Gifford.

Mary Sutherlin looks at what's left of her home Tuesday, November 19 in Gifford.

(Jeff Bossert/WILL)

Mary Sutherlin has spent the last few days working with her neighbors and her husband to clean up what’s left of her home. She says when the tornado struck her hometown of Gifford on Sunday, she and her husband and 11 year-old grandchild barely made it into the back room before the tornado blew away most of her neighborhood. For the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Sutherlin about what’s next and how she’s handling rebuilding and clean-up. Champaign County Emergency Management Agency Spokesman Rick Atterberry also joins us.

Then, Jim Gilliland, former mayor of Ogden, Illinois joins us. He says when a tornado struck the town of around 700 people in late April of 1996, both the damage and the idea that he was a key decision maker was overwhelming. We’ll talk with him about how the community came together and started to pick up the pieces in the weeks and months following the storm.

Pop Up Archive Item: “Rebuilding after a tornado” :
Transcript for file: focus131120a.mp3


the tornado that hit the Champaign County town of Guilford last Sunday tour of the back
Mary Sutherlands house Mary says to work to clear debris from a property is on
is already on your way with a lot of help from the community I’m looking right now
into my backyard and I see my son in law


best friend additional 1015 people and I do not know any of them
Meadows end today on focus will discuss rebuilding after a tornado
tornado on talk with Mary Southerland and also with ricotta berry champain County
Emergency Management Agency and the man who was mayor of Ogden tornado
tornado tour through that town in 1996
focus continues after the news
welcome to focus on Jim Meadows if your neighborhood suffered damage in last Sunday


Sundays outbreak of tornadoes which lacrosse six states you don’t need the media
how to tell you what it was like but for most of us the news media is our window
to the terrible damage suffered in towns like if ur did Washington Illinois
Kokomo Indiana that window will stick around for a few days
maybe even weeks but in time the news coverage will the Minish long before the cleanup Andriod
rebuilding is completed today in focus going to try to take a look at the work
work going on now in the work that will be going on in the weeks in months


what’s an even years to come in areas hit by tornadoes in will start
by saying hello to someone whose home suffered a directed last Sunday
Mary Southerland lives with her husband Gifford with a operating ice cream shop Merrick good
good morning in welcome to focus a good morning thank you for having me what glad to have
the heavy what does Mary II understand that you and your husband lost your house in Gifford
to the tornado we certainly did I am so sorry to hear that
but I understand that you and your your your your staying put your determine the rebuilding


Golden State in Gifford OF solutely weed we don’t want to live in the world
now I could see that some people mean when theres someone their face with a situation like
like this just might find it easier to pull up steaks and find another place to live as soon as they can
is the Canon adjust a there but why have you and your husband decided to stay in
day Inn Beaufort and rebuild I think there’s something about roots
and I was born in Gifford um and I just
just feel that a lot of my friends are there my family is there um we have a


I have a business there and that’s where we want to be okay American Utah
can you tell me about your experience when the tornado struck mean to start with
where were you at that moment what does that moment we had
already gotten down into the basement I have been in the kitchen with corset
watching the news in watching the skies and I have noticed that the sky
Skyrim just seem different than anything I really ever seen before and I told
I told my grandson and my husband I think we need to go to the basement flashlights


lights went down to the basement um within seconds really the alarm
alarm went off the siren what was different about that is that it was a short
short fire in a normally when you hear those things that just are continual well
we have one window in that area what to look out the window when the fire in Stockton
I have to walk from my house and I said I think we need
need to go to the back with no windows at all and within 15
can second we were in that room which is just a few steps away


and couldn’t get the door shut we knew that like that that moment we been hit
how we were in the room and I
probably less than a minute I’m thinking about how long it took
took to know um for to stop going on
and we came out of the room lookout farm
Foundation have crack in the basement and newest at times that it was bad
was was was there noise at the store made as it passes through a yes


when you hear that it was a train like a train Hedlund track
that’s exactly what it was it was just a tree
cha cha cha like it with swirling of course
the damage you can just here to breathe in and things getting the house
wow now you said you had gotten a lot of advance were the weather forecast size
super full of this information yes we we knew we would
was walking the the television we had um of course in on the Internet


things were tracking itsy where was when I was coming of course
we didn’t know that it was going to be as bad as it was just knew that it was a storm and Beyond
the only way that I knew that was different style was so different than anything I’ve ever seen
okay now are the sign mean when you said that it is that it
did the influenza in Minnesota for short pattern without a pattern was the same
cut off by the storm somehow it was cut off by the storm it wasn’t even
pattern normally as you know when you hear the sirens and its side to Siri


series of Wong blast and this was
Abe laugh lasted a couple of seconds and then it was
then we started hearing a glass blue in from the one window in the area that we were
we were the basement and umm the Blasted stop the dots
stop okay now I understand the the the tornado
Scentsy tour of the back of the house yes and in distance
disrupted I push the rest of it officer found a shin we’re on our family


Foundation but it’s completely destroyed we had your orders
Hooters that came right to the brick foundation a while so where are you living now
right now will sing with some very very good friends that allow us to
share their home and drive us back and forth and do things we need to do as well as
the cleanup of our home okay are you able to retrieve a things from the house
house we were so very lucky very blessed that are basement
we had a number things stored tubs of pictures


things for my past that cannot be replaced and we have all of those things ok
can niacin you also operate an ice cream shop in Gifford we do it self
silent scream gallery is your husband a money
his name is it ok if he’s the Linney how to how did the distance
Christmas Fair in the storm surprisingly well we are actually just
just getting in there today I be the front on a blue waffle
we had a back garden with them seating for for customers and that was completely


destroyed but as far as we can tell the shop itself is intact
okay now you hope to reopen the shop
fairly quickly what do you think realistic there I got power and Gifford today is
understand I haven’t been there yet but I understand that in the downtown
downtown business district were Shoppe hasn’t my husband is actually there right now
odd and so we are hoping next week ok
in the meantime you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you to rebuild an essay


not just the labor of rebuilding but there’s always paperwork and things like that are you able to get
how to get the information help you need to get that process started
I can’t tell you enough about how wonderful are insurance company has
send insurance generally gets a bad rap that are Company Hartford
bird was there yesterday our first time with a permit or just ur ass
and that young man has just guided Us
Houston everything that we need to do when is very protective of us is someone came up to


map to us um asking some questions and he took me aside
why didn’t he said I just don’t want you to be taken advantage of and
do you take your everything for that’s good to hear
now I just really one more question I know if you were struck send your neighbors restaurant
truckers well have you been in touch with with the other neighbors who who lost homes in
what’s House everybody feeling out there
Gifford is just a wonderful place to live with a small village


village of about 950 people and you can rest assured that you
what your neighbors have your back are are good neighbors across the street from us
their home is completely destroyed and Mr Hyde burger
is in the hospital he’s not doing well he’s um in bed
stages of cancer this is hamburger with their biker self and um
has taken a turn for the worse we don’t know any updates as of today but we
we are going over there today to start getting their place cleaned out for them


haven’t had a lot of help you can imagine
the kids want to be with her parents in this time of need and so we will be taken care of that
and we see that everyone we go well you’re dead you’re taking your B
you’re being generous enough to lend a hand for the for for that families
is is certainly worth worth commanding especially considering it all the challenges you have
do you have a head yeah its its not short of flood
what anybody has done we have had people in are in our house in our yard


Yard I do not even know and those people just a few
just work themselves and are so gracious OK
Mary Southerland thank you so much for taking the time to talk about what you’ve been through I don’t know
Thanksgiving is next week do you know how you’re going to be celebrated
we’re going to be with our daughter and son-in-law in our grandchildren
children and they live in ranch ok American hope you can rebuild quickly
McLean get your business back up and running soon as well thank you very much


for the time and I just can’t say enough about how
wonderful our community is and the outside community as well that’s come in and
donated money and clothes and food has been there for the people
Gifford America Inc you again for talking with a 01 focus
thank you so much you have a wonderful day thank you and this is focus in WY
while im Jim meadows and we are looking at the aftermath of Sandy
Sundays tornado focusing right now on a gift for the small town in


northeast Champaign County that was hard hit by a tornado
on Sunday now I’m talking on the phone I believe he’s with me a break at a berry
Richard Berry is up with the Champaign County Emergency Emergency Management Agency
and I Ricky understand you’re out in Gifford right now
right on the edge downtown the woodchuck is the southern
most the damage is the community center stage movie theater today
what is a busy day today ok


what does Gifford look like right now I just give us a picture because as you say
who said there’s there’s an edge to wear the damage was how much is the town was hit and how much is still intact
contact I fink it’s probably 40 to 50 percent of the town
cat some damage official count from Gifford of the towns are the farms
farms around is 250% buildings damaged
the 60 totally destroyed right across the street from where I am now
which is basically the Bell Center in town the water towers right here is a


Apollo trouble that was a building there are some houses so just be on that
that the car to leak on a house set custom I left the witch
set alarm time resident open house today about 80 heat
he remembered the woman who live there when he was a child that hits in a sample
what’s a good it is really a touch of a status like to see is you looking for
Prosser out power lines up in connected how about other infrastructure in the Gifford
coming along power is restored to to smoke


small corner of the town yesterday afternoon at the Biltmore of the not affected cell
southern part of town overnight last night at the cruise take a break their back
back full steam ahead now I can see them streamline
all three actually go up to a three main east north south
South Street Eatontown there working hard on right now streamlines a
take the power back to its many of the people in houses that are compatible
as a prophet as possible people are are caucus up of


the fact that the weather is going to turn out of here goes like this afternoon
Tervis radar Megabus colder this weekend try to get as much power restore
restore possible gas will be a somewhat slower process
process because they have to make sure that the gas lines in each one of these badly damaged
how to destroy homes is capital for the undersized at system water
water good comeback on Lake Esther day afternoon with chef
I got the God said that a miracle because they were looking at least a week


what was thinking without bypass
water plant was badly damaged by passes Giffords on water plant was
difference on water plant corrective is there not the interconnected with anyone else out of a pipe
bypass the filter system so well the people do not have water first
first education needs for clothes washing showers all of that up it’s now
what’s not drinkable to boil water will continue probably for quite some time
plenty of bottled water around stage 2 round town for people for granted this is OK


JSO in the meantime along with attempted is the restore utility
utilities in that soften for structure salon cleanup going on at this point
incredible about today there are cruser from Champaign
Department of Transportation townships around here that take insurance
turn on rotating there are dates for the Illinois Department of Corrections
working alongside the structure of the old apartment transportation to load the Berean
does a good free removal is going to be able to massive


massive massive project as you might expect stand up
not always feels like suck all types of the breeze
people who are cleaning up their own property can bring to the free roadside
hide the pain after separated into first trees live
construction materials van a bathroom
bathroom fixtures they want the ceramics separated or state requirements
this is not something to look like a white girl switch show the rest of us know it


major appliances washers dryers refrigerators freezers at the different file
tires are Pyle batteries or tile a pilot might expect the hazardous material
Orioles which include cleaning solvents up the that sort of thing
things that are also suffer pilot truck driving by to pick ups
ups Pacific to items and taking them to the appropriate landfill support
Chipotle about good free removal set up
they really don’t want anybody to set a fire


where is so much to breathe I sexually with the end of the fire kings very quickly
still that issue with the gas light operative
I’m thinking of electronic appliances things like TVs and computers with recently I guess
I guess in the last couple years were banned from Illinois landfills are they there own separate
pilot I go with white goods what happens to the next one point in the NFL
that’s not covered in the material that the the receipt to separate
rate my iphone what the recent change a law that


there’s probably one more Pilot people up to me
how to make that is for electronics microwaves television sales other things like that
what the meantime people you’re asking people to be responsible for clearing their young
yards in getting the stuff out on the edge how much longer do you expect
Spectre Cruz will be available to the whole things away like this
what two prong setting as the insurance adjusters coming on and work with the homeowners
once insurance adjusters total homeowners go ahead and hire a contractor chick


Oakley mess up at that point for the contractor shows up the contractor Israel
responsible for making sure that the debris get to the right kind of landfill
the restrictions I was talking about a sleeper people who work cleaning up their own property
property right now they bring it out to the side there will be Cruise
mystery out of here as long as it takes with within reason but that this is not
this is not something is going to end today or tomorrow date of the city
overtime rap down but the Bears are


Dave’s off of working out of people ok
the contractor will know where the say the hazardous waste should be taken 2
yes yes what were talking with ricotta Birmingham Champaign County
mercy emergency management agency Hiiraan Focus C is in Gifford
if you have any questions for a front for wreck about about handling all the cleanup
after after Sundays tornado give us a call at 1 800 222
229 455 that’s 1 800 222 wyll you


email us at will dash talk at Illinois dot
edu and you can contact doesn’t Twitter or Facebook and focus
focus 580 how would working
work is your agency the Emergency Management Agency responsible for in Gifford
what are other agencies doing weather pump your private teacher at this point
point of what the Emergency Management Agency is responsible for
Sheriff’s Office working together because they’re both of us about government is off


managing the resources of the response part
part of this is pretty much over that was Sunday
where is short term recovery out the resources
like for a week Sunday night that I have the became apparent
parents of the solar system could be operable didn’t have any power and there are several lift
lift stations in town to remove the sewage out the plant which is up
how to stop a toddler scientist at it up


generators and brother man in the suit system is up and running is a major
help for the nursing home in town because otherwise they would have had
what is have to meet other arrangements of four of the people who are staying there
Sol to stay open what’s the score system
the nose with we don’t have a giant warehouse full
full of stuff would you happen to have several generators but what we do have
is Lido where to get stuff whether it’s federal resources state resources


private sector and the that’s kind of thing we also bring out
Instagram post so that early in the story the
unified command to be set up so the representatives of all the responding agencies are there
other agencies well why only going on here but
what does the service recognition from the Public Health District
public health is Champaign Urbana Champaign Urbana Public Health District
what you doing how long with presence of medical


today is the setting up an area where there going to be giving people the shots
because it’s really easy to cut yourself for step on a nail Greenfield
so there going to be doing that was a little ridiculous morning
warriors of shift change up there people working generally 12
12 hour shifts the responders at the 7 o’clock and off for people
people the overnight shift this is what type of the morning show up
up the fire department deferred up there being a sister


how to relieve the largest stepbrother area fire departments because many of the
Department Catherine damage to deal with
what do a lot of Oceania late on Sunday as last night
rehab Fire Department the representatives and equipment hear from Sister Park
from Chebanse up that way Asheville up north of here and Florida
all together beta care of the Gifford
overnight last night today I know there’s a mortgage in salt water coming out


Bloomington yesterday’s others Sullivan was here with a recluse
fire engines so other areas apartments are taking care of any response
ups calls out of the fire department so the different firefighters can’t deal with things at home
call Pat and it is that kind of cooperation Mary talk about the weather
papers are helping neighbors it is amazing things to watch that good spirits everybody was in
word life by the community meeting it was really nothing short of inspiring
pairing the way that before responding to this so far this


this is the day of the week Sterling abouts is going to be stress
but for the moment people are really stepping up there’s a sign of the outsiders
the city that says Gifford welcome to Gifford America’s home
does home without end up I was thinking about that this morning at the
you know I was thinking while you’re doing all this working
can Gifford in a certain need all this help um you’re with the emergency
Emergency Management Agency for all of Champaign County and there is damage elsewhere in the county


do you have to look after absolutely were a pressure plate
because that is so scattered is there’s not a widespread were making sure that
all of that gets catalog all those damage assessment
because that in the long run will make a big difference
disaster declaration that could bring federal aid to pair of the recovery period
period Champaign County so that’s all being assessed there will be female
suspect James and to do with a secondary assessments your short like um


but yes I had that goes I hate this was happening today 2
a church companies arranged for towing companies
companies to come in and out there’s another number of damage to vehicle
Michaels you’re up there being hold out today to pick up a hazard with the gas
gas tank for the batteries the fluid inside so that he can imagine the different kinds of
kinds of things that have to be cleaned up if its mass Wow Center in under
show in a lot of things to pay attention to know Champaign County is officially a state


disaster area not yet Federal that’s correct the governor
Florida State a disaster of believers a surly a Sunday night
because that they release 13 Callies the states have some kind of damage from this
what will happen dollars that reports from all those the damages
13001 way or another would be compile dance
submitted to feel about for a patient of a
federal of presidential debate presidential way to clear a disaster


free up some other federal resources to come you should mention in the meantime that the governor
available just Child three and a half million dollars yesterday
for people who are uninsured and the have lost so that they
bacon start the process of getting back on their feet of the Red Cross I have that paper
paperwork your half a cup of Health Nursing Home 136
Gifford by help people get started with the paperwork to participate in that
that up there is a formula based on the population of a state


that determines if your lashes without warrant the federal intervention weather they can be handled
the state level up there’s already a feather is
presents to speak up other has been over in Washington
55 LAKE AVE that we’re going to be pet wrestle this time for your back
back of the tornado hit Hillsboro did not hit that the one of the things I have
what happens because of the population of Chicago to suburbs it’s a very high threshold
salt for Illinois but that I think with the Washington hand gif


Gifford and everything else in between that there’s a chance that it will rain
will rise to the federal standard this time okay and I’m on one
I’m wondering for people who are you who who are interested in helping out
is there a place to go for basic information I am looking at your agency’s Facebook
facebook page now and its talking about the establishment by the United
United Way of a gift for a really fun yes
where is the area really 5’2 the United Way


stablish that some banks that Gifford State Bank of people killed on altamesa
donations directly of a lady I have an affinity for the Salvation Army on the Red Cross
cross of Financial locations are by far preferable to materials
donations it’s just very difficult to manage material at this time effect
perfect other with relocations in town where people were dropping off clothing is it just had to
just had the same no more if there are churches in organizations around the area
what are collecting goods thats 5 a.m.


appreciate those thoughts but those organizations need to be prepared to hold on
does goods for a while so we can get that states the recovery wear a dispenser
dispensation of those that take place financials
donations in after the United Way Regency Houston
I can get that money in the hands of the people who beat it that much more quickly
outbreak I’m going to take a call now from someone who who knows the story of the soda recovery
covery from later down the road and im im the dump


believe I’m talking to a jacket Jack Ryder
that’s right you’re the mayor in Ogden yeah I’m American and the
I been through to the Tornados one has a president won also very much
how much is the mayor of Trustees what I’ve been listening to
it’s all pretty much down there of the lady who called
resiliency a small town that is there
after the same thing I just like to express our residents and the


off of Ogden Express R
are you now feeling for that we’ve gone for less that you will get through
get through it is well um I had the
I don’t want to say to place her but I work with Bill Keller and record sounds like
everything that you were doing we have done and it does take a walk
Michael Wilding rebuilding process will go through if you can
you can’t say enough about the volunteers um we got to a point


where we had to turn down people and I think that just shows
shows a lot of the house and I’m just
just to let the people get for than other areas now that you wear
they will bounce back straps are low in Peru and I just like that
like to thank you for doing that says as part of your agency
thank you I appreciate that I remember Ogden well that’s fine I was
still on the other side working at a local radio station in the a


where we were golfer that that and that you’re absolutely right of a the spirit of the Smokies
small communities and I grew up in Washington so I know what’s going on over there
right now and I hope to be over there later the week 550 have family members there
doing the same thing as hit 60 larger community b***
the roots of a community are very very deep fat people are going to be
helping each other cope with this why do I like to think Miramare Jack Ryder off
Ogden for calling in a little later on we’ll be talking to his predecessor in Ogden


who was there when a tornado hit the town badly in 1996
6 where can I bury thank you very much for talking with us sure thing ever end
and I understand you have a few more busy days ahead of you out there at least
least a couple at the at some point 380
over to the local officials will be standing behind on with the
help with paperwork that had all the recovery process: the next episode
the long term recovery process that will be engaged what’s a very much


very much Rick sure that you were going to take a short break for me come back will look at
How I didn fared when it was badly hit by a tornado about 18
18 years ago when we talk with the former mayor of Ogden
the man who was mayor when the storm hit this is focused on wyll
welcome back to focus on Jim Meadows we are looking
looking at recovery from a tornadoes like the recovery work going on
going on now as they clean up in rebuilding Gifford in NE champagne


Payne County Barroso looking back at an earlier tornado on recovery
Wikipedia its called the April 1996 tornado outbreak sequence
that was a series of tornado outbreaks occur to over three days in April of 99
1996 over a large area of eastern North America the first day
birthday April 19th what’s the most prolific outbreak of tornadoes ever seen in
Illinois recorded history 3320 toes and one of them in
NFL 32 and 80 Rudolph for 1 mile in with it hit decay


Decatur then it gets traveling distance to the eastern section of Urbana
mana and then farther east where is destroyed if I understand this right near me
nearly every home in a small town of Ogden Jim Gilliland was the mayor of Oz
the time in Ogden today is the temperature for from the tornado and I
Jim Killen welcome to focus and were trying to reach a gym killing his
is the of former mayor of Ogden we had him at just a moment ago
and we will try to I get him out back on the line as well he was the man


the mayor winner when I was struck by a pretty bad tornado
180 in April of 1996 I was not hear it
wyln 1996 with WWII newsroom was search
certainly here and we’re going to let’s just answer to 4 up up up
silver prelude before we get to a mystic Illinois play a news report that aired on
dare to wyll in April of 1996 this is Sarah day
day Reporting for our station win a governor Jim Edgar a visit


visited the officer did the tornado hit town of Ogden Ogden
how did yesterday buing excessive damage done by left Fridays tornado along the way you spoke
Residence Inn Jekyll North Street house for tamales
the rebel to save anything off I’m going through valuables of papers
papers clothing Auto Salvage most close up most of range
Hammacher how that’s going to turn out yet
how to get some help for the federal disaster declaration make tornado victims


victims in champagne in Macon County eligible for grandmas to rebuild Edgar Ulta
all the present in American flag dedicated to New Franklin Ogden Mary Jim Gilliland
call the flag a sign of hope that’s what the flagpole is 40 show you that we can ride
out of the ashes more than 1000 homes and businesses in the two counties worden
damaged or destroyed by tornadoes I’m Saturday and that’s Report bias
everyday not have the most recent tornado damage deferred but of tornado damage 18
18 years ago in 1996 in Ogden and you heard the voice of then I may roam


did Jim Gilliland and we have here on the phone today match together 1 welcome to focus
focus thank you for having me I don’t know we were able to hear that news reporting hear your voice
18 years back what’s the memories that brought back to you
April 19 1996 you’re the mayor of Ogden where were you when the storm
tornado hit we were leaving out we were at home and I was out on the porch watching this
the star role in a man you could see the darkness in the background as we had like me
lightning flash in the sky and the wind was blowing and then all the


setting the wind just stop and everything got dead quiet and
and that we decide it was time to get in and get into the bathtub and that’s what we did
did you get here Dupre hitting a sidebar house you got in the bathtub for protection
Texans vs correctly got in there with my wife in our new puppy and I am becoming a shelf
Self Help and I just prayed that we write a route ok and the storm
storm does the storm come to your house or near it what how close is yet
get well we’re on the north west corner of town and we what kind of on the air


the edge of it so we were very fortunate and blessed we didn’t have hardly any damage?
you are home so what which was really important later on is we work in recovery
Avery and the dentist on with more South office going into correction write to text
Middletown was was was there much of a warning I mean first of all
what you had have you had any warnings about the weather this might produce tornadoes
yes we been watching following the television broadcasting the weather reports at most
that evening so we knew something was coming in and it we didn’t know severity that was going


is going to end up being but I guess we were where there was coming and we had to start
storm spiders while watching on the edge of town which was part about protection
did the siren go off and on well have that time we had a siren that had to be manually turn
turned on and unfortunately by the time the gym got to do that the storm hit
and uh the siren in the building at the sirens on top of came tumbling down
downforce me he was not hurt but that we did not have a siren warning at that time
what time Saints and the village trustees in


Ethan and Mary have put we’ve got to do sirens up now so in a automatic set of
from the county I believe so we have much better warning system today yeah I don’t know
I guess so I don’t know how brother warning was last Sunday if the sirens went off in Ogden
this past weekend because of the storm I don’t know I don’t remember hearing and we were
we were I don’t know I don’t believe they didn’t
so you were hiding out how long did it take for them for you
for you to feel that everything is clear that you could come out Whale once once the sound of a freight train


train left and you can you use to breed the side the house that was kind of
the worth of past so that’s what we got out and went outside on the front porch
round is from iphone4 to the neighbourhood we could see
what did you see where we
add windows be traffic cameras in bowling over on the side and the trees were
is were were
that was struck me really that time to fish that the trees with stripped bare NE


foliage miss Illinois getting a little bit of break up I don’t know what your phone situation is
when is it okay that I don’t know if you have a quart or a lack of accord with maybe inhibiting the single life
think things are okay over here but of course we have a lot of wires we never know right
right right can you hear me better now yeah you some good now if you can go over again
whats the song where he was just fact that the trees a stripper
strip beer with what distance to peer to peer to be much damage
damage on what I can see from my for my porch but then someone come by and said


said that you better start heading downtown and what is UC downtown Wells I walk downtown
downtown you can begin to smell gas from date for the home to have been damaged and the gas meters have been
broken off until you can you had that stench in the air of debris in the
the trees of car is turned over just it
it was the really something that you just almost can’t put into words
disturbed the devastation that that was there just seem like such a short period of time
time of death of Thomas actually going on in Damascus destruction etiquette do


what talking with Jim Killen is the former mayor of Odin he was the mayor
is the mayor of Odin in April of 1996 town was it badly by a tornado
going back on his experiences and memories from then if you have some questions are
maybe some of your own experiences with severe storms to talk about give us a college
is 1 800 222 9455 that phone number again is 18
1 800 222 wyll email addresses will
dash talk at you can contact us a Twitter or Facebook


Facebook and focus 580 I can’t imagine being in that situation
situation you’re the mayor of Odin looking at this devastation what do you do first what
what did I mean was was helped already arriving what did you do where you can hear it once
1120 what time I got downtown you can hear the sirens of the Veil merch
equipment coming your way of what it was just a
silver whelming that you
that you did I just didn’t know what to do I just look at me directions to look thinner with destruction and I thought


what am I going to do this this is beyond me and Dad
but then once they help got here and especially Iyanla
the state that they did that with this before in and they just jumped right in and kind of game
give me directions to decisions were left up to me and borders far is what we actually would do but they had grey
great advice and I kind of plate on out on there a pass back
background Direction on Ellen When I should do for lap going forward what were the
what was the first things I’ve got done well first thing we did Volunteer Fire Dept


fire departments are going house to house and to try to make a AI headcount
the community in and people win it and see if anyone with hurt and if it was made
which medical attention needed a and end once said that was shot
well that was on going in one state police got here we were we were told that we should shut down
downtown just keep because of the debris always town leaking gas down wires
wires that we should shut down the town that allow anyone in time to try to get
how to get a handle on on what’s going on in what direction we should go now


did you have a lot of community corporation courses small town a lot of people know each other right
but when you’re securing the town you’re a barricade in a centrally was there anybody in happy about
happy about those prescriptions so I think there was and found out later a few
few days later cause we Capetown lockdown for couple days because we didn’t want sightseers for one thing
because we still have to breed to get a birth secret to start cleaning up as quickly as we could
could a so I think they were few people who who felt it maybe we were little too
strict but if you got a lot of emotions running very high the situation


like this and you have to take that in consideration people have lost a lot going through a lot
lot and their confused just like myself and so but for the most part the community
tipo de gather and and and work we all work together and and that’s great things
small community in a rural setting that the people you may not see him on a date
did the bases when something happens in a tragedy your emergency they always step up and
Panda the do the neighborly thing of taking care of each other not right now
right now in Gifford there just there still clearing the debris field 4 days after


at at some point you get from clearing things quickly ring of the damage
to really rebuilding how did that work out in Ogden how long did it take for
for that rebuilding to get to get underway what sort of Hoops in paper
paperwork processes did you have to go through well I thought what we got
the bridge to Bri stacking it week at that time course back then
we just separated man we had to separate the park we have to have a line of metal
metal that reacts with separated in the rest of week we were allowed to dig a big firework fire pit


hit by pitch that’s right not right turn me with huge hole and we dumped all burnable
things in at in burned day n night for several weeks Wow
so we were allowed to do that the tour of the states DPA
and that’s all that that that the clearing way getting the Powerball
getting a power play fortunate to the water system was not damaged anyway we had a
we had a yet ABQ generator backup so the system captain of functioning
shooting of the sewer plant was not damaged anyway so we very fortunate in that way we just had to


set up a you get some power to the village office which was still
are there and the sum of the traders at that I am at Broughton in
power to them so much with us trailers that I was using for the road
Kourtney it was more of a command post type thing where are people to people
people who lost their homes could not stay in their homes in Ogden wear with a living doing well I think some
send someone staying with the friends and family out of town I like a sweet
sweet potato home because it would we didn’t have power for for many days but we can still we can still stay


staying home and I think some of that on the side of town was done but I think it was you
just a fact family and friends stepping up and they stay there then once we really
13 release the town the Traveling people that come and go and make it easier to get out and come back
come back Inn wish I could come in if they had to develop drivers license indicated they were residency
town did the did the village I did residence Guetta
get assistance the in rebuilding anything that came from the state or federal government
yeah I think of FEMA came in and it went off early we had we had a lot of donation


did that just like a lady that you have your there to do that
it did the people just stepped up people use a
don’t know im probably never will know stepped up to get financially and all
and also like if we had a lot of donations of clothing and we had that you had to close that down like a
MRI to say that you just got so many volunteer you just overwhelmed
almost more Volunteers new head actual residence at what times what seems like
no I’m wondering because it’s time goes on in the rebuilding process must have taken


what did it take months to detect years no it took it took several months in a year
yurizan in the landscape of the town changed because we were town of a lot of older homes
Home smaller homes on small piece of property to 140 some people decided not to
did not to rebuild in so other people build homes on double sided Lotso the landscape
the town changed and that that was that was that was a big difference
difference you notice when you walk around town after were several months afterwards or even years after words to landscape a chain
changes for the parents of the town but no its it’s going to take it going to take


take you for months to years 3102 years to XP
get to the town back to being rebuilt its it’s never going process
for such a period of time in the cleanup is what is what is ratio Massey
what this point now you talk about how people really better together at the ounce
outset but I could just imagine as time goes on there will be difficulties a disagreement Center
sunrise did did you find that happening in Ogden
individual just not not just a few who who might have not felt something with being done


inden the way they would like to have it done because like I said its just human nature you win
you went through experience in da you want to get back to normal life as quickly as you can
and so it become sometimes frustrations become very high and you have to deal with
deal with that in a stand with people coming from and to an invention
what you talk with them and you work through their problems that dinner come again and everything is
is back to back to the way it is to get the building the number 11
I want people to understand in Ogden that what we went through was terrible


terrible but you come out on your side much better is a community individuals and
and that’s why we agree to Tambor do we need flag as a symbol in I got
how to get electricity back to the best we can get that flag lips so it was visible night and day
and that was just something that was important to let people know that
gone witches Temperley temporarily disabled that’s a flagon where is where is
downtown at the Veterans Park and still still still there today
today that’s one of the first things that went up yes yes that was si we just fell today


at the community need some kind of sign rally point in hope that was
what’s a something that some people that was a good idea now
now you understand that you step down as mayor later in the year
yes that anything to do with all the difficulties for rebuilding I was at just know that wasn’t
is more of a personal physical somethings came out during storm because when it first started
I was up there at the village office for probably 45 days
days in a row and just sitting there with people coming in asking


giving directions to abort who went out and did
did the jobs at work for ask of them so but it was just a more physical things
things I was still work full time at that time it was a & a truck with a part
part time position I had to go back to working so I trying to balance work um homem de meaning
what kind of hard to deal with things when you want to have during the day and that was what was needed
and the physical things and I thought well II for bed for my for the best meat for the best the community
stepside where were coming calls coming close to the end of the program


even though you were not in village government after that unless I don’t know
I don’t know if you were used in the village board on board also
Nocturne Residence Inn you seen this rebuilding um going
going on over the years how do you feel about your town now I’m very
proud of the town in the people in it and that its its its a small
small town guy and that its small town living is great
and I can’t say enough about the people of Ogden what ive been to and what they come true


come thru and that the reason to get the show tonight would increase the People Gifford
to stand firm and they will get through this well Jim Killen I wanna thank you
thank you for talking with us about how often recovered from the tornado that struck their age
18 years ago and I thank you very much for talking with us today
okay thank you and also increase to Gifford leaders political leaders
distance that they would come together in and that and that you be much but strong
stronger Port aux cable thank you very much my thanks to to record a berry


Barry of the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency and Mary Southerland
we talk to at the start of the program she lost her house and get for to a tornado but she and her husband
husband a term in to rebuild when walking any additional thought you have about today
today’s program on a website you can go to a directly at
you slash focus today show was produced by Lindsey moon Jason prophets are testicles
technical director and handles your calls sorry leszokas are internet with production and research
research special things to Sean powers around the track down audio Auburn news coverage


the 1996 Ogden tornado strike tomorrow on focus Ruby sue Martin
discussion of Higher Education this time with a look at community colleges
I guess ill be the President to Parkland College in Champaign and Danville Area Community
Unity College in Danville NJ Meadows is focus on WILL