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About Clarion County

Callensburg Cleans up After Storm

Damage in the borough of about 200 people seems to be worse than first thought

Callensburg -- Saws roared Wednesday in Callensburg as people got rid of trees and limbs downed during a severely windy thunderstorm.

The combination of high wind, hail, and rain literally sent people running for cover Tuesday as utility lines and tree limbs came down -- sometimes on vehicles and at least on one new roof.

"It was pretty nasty," said Byron Best.  "I don't know of anybody getting hurt, which is a miracle."

Charles Runyan, Callensburg Borough Council member, said a tree damaged the top of his car, the window broke out of his truck and three of his trees were downed.

Damage in the borough, which has about 200 residents, was still being estimated.  It includes a gas pump taken out at Country Mini Mart.

"The lights up over the pump came down on the one pump and took it out," said Eva Shay, the business owner.  "The other pump's all right, but it took out both lights.  We were lucky.  No one was hurt.  That's the main thing."

Best said he knew he was in trouble when he saw his 30-foot-tall pines bending in half before many of them broke.

"It started raining," Best said.  "It started hailing -- thunder, lightning, hail."

He grabbed the hands of his daughters -- Mindy, 15, and Patience, 11 -- and tried to run 50 yards to neighbor Ed Fegert's home.  Fegert has a cellar.

"I was never in nothing like that in my life," Best said.  "I was scared to death.  I thought I was done."

Fegert let them in, and they headed for the cellar.

"The power was out by then," Best said.  "It (wind) was just a howl.  The trees -- it didn't just break them off, it twisted them off."

Fegert said he lost three big trees, many of them broken high up, "which to me indicates a tornado pattern."

Transcriber's note:  This storm occurred at approximately 3:15 p.m.

Source:  The Derrick or The Clarion News (citation not noted on clipping)

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