Along with caring people the world over, we at Youth Journalism International are horrified at the vast destruction and loss of life in Moore, Oklahoma, after a massive tornado struck the town Monday. Five years ago, when a twister decimated the small town of Parkersburg, Iowa, YJI reporter Beth Pond interviewed a teen there. Here is her story:
June 2, 2008
Deadly twister leaves Iowa teen homeless
By Beth Pond
Youth Journalism International
Memorial Day weekend started off as a normal one for residents of Parkersburg, Iowa. High school seniors had already graduated, and some were planning parties for the long weekend. Underclassmen were halfway through final exams and looking forward to summer vacations.
No one expected that late Sunday afternoon, May 25, a terrible tornado would rip through their tiny town, leaving death and rubble in its wake.
Photo courtesy of Krista Kannegieter
Tornado damage in Parkersburg, Iowa
Nearly three-quarters of a mile wide, the deadly EF5 twister – the most severe tornado as classified by the National Weather Service – destroyed the town’s high school and as many as 200 homes in Parkersburg with winds as high as 205 miles per hour.
The tornado “sounds like a freight train is running over your house,” said
16-year-old Krista Kannegieter, who huddled with her parents in the basement of their home while the storm raged overhead.