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Ames Woman Heard Locomotive Sound as Storm Passed

May 3, 2012 Ames.Patch.Com


Heather Botine heard the storm coming from her open bedroom window about 2 a.m. Wednesday and fought extreme wind to close it.

“Then I heard the locomotive sound everyone hears about when there is a tornado,” Botine said.

Not having time to make it to her basement she ran to a bathroom.

“It happened so fast. Within five minutes the wind was gone,” she said.

Botine lucked out. The damage to her Northridge Heights home was minor. High winds took out trees and branches across Ames, but the damage seemed concentrated north of 24th Street. Botine lost some shingles and a weighted patio table had blown out of place. Her plants were mashed down and the leaves of her columbines were whipped into a swirl.

But her neighbor, Chunhui Chen, lost his roof. Chen said he woke up to feel his two-story home shaking and swaying back and forth. The sound of rain became louder and when he walked into an unoccupied bedroom he saw the sky.

The wind blew off a section of his roof littering his and his neighbors’ yards with insulation. His garage door caved in during the storm and hit his vehicle, but no one was hurt.

“I think we are really lucky,” Chen said.

Contractors told him that damage to his home surpassed the $25,000 threshold and worked to tarp his home Wednesday morning.

Chen wondered if a small tornado hit his home, not believing winds could do such damage.

And the National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for northern Story County north of Highway 30 just before 2 a.m. The warning area included Gilbert, Story City and Roland, but Craig Cogil, a National Weather Service meteorologist said he didn’t believe Ames was included.

Botine thought she heard the sound most people describe during tornadoes, but didn’t look outside. She said the winds sounded like the rumble of a train engine passing.

Cogil said no tornado sightings were reported in Ames or Story County. Winds of 70 to 80 miles an hour make a lot of noise, he said and strong straight line winds can also cause a lot of damage.

A tree fell on a Nixon Circle home and a large green ash fell on 70-year-old Ruth Jensen’s home near the intersection of Bloomington Road and Grand Avenue.

She told her daughter, Kris Jensen, that she believed in guardian angels. Kris Jensen said her mother woke up to see the ceiling coming down. The 50 foot tree hit the roof right above her bedroom.


May 3, 2012 Posted by | Ames Patch | Leave a comment