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BOY SCOUT TROOP 33
First Lutheran Church - DeKalb, Illinois


HARRISBURG TORNADO


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"To help other people at all times"




HARRISBURG TORNADO


      - Background
      - Fujita Scale
      - Project #1
      - Project #2
      - News Coverage
      - Support

Troop 33 Disaster Page
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Scouts from Troop 33 traveled to Harrisburg, Illinois and invested themselves in hard physical labor to benefit the community.

Their work time has was spent in doing two major projects.




















- Background - Fujita Scale - Project #1 - Project #2 - News Coverage - Support




Shopping center destroyed by Harrisburg tornado.

EF-4 TORNADO - FEBRUARY 29, 2012
HARRISBURG, ILLINOIS



BACKGROUND

An EF-4 tornado slammed into Harrisburg early on the morning of February 29, 2012. The tornado touched down just north of Carrier Mills at 4:51 a.m., destroyed a church and damaged houses along Town Park Road, and then traveled ENE through the Harrisburg Coal Field just north of Ledford, and then through Liberty, where it damaged Harrisburg Middle School.

The tornado reached the south-western edge of the city at 4:56 a.m., specifically Dorrisville, which suffered significant property damage, and then churned eastward to Gaskins City which was nearly leveled.

The tornado left 8 people dead with 110 people injured. Harrisburg Medical Center was significantly damaged. Peak winds were estimated to be 180 mph. In Harrisburg, more than 400 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Some buildings were completely leveled plus a shopping center destroyed.

Early estimates indicated nearly 40% of the city was damaged or destroyed. A mandatory curfew was enforced in the effected areas. At that time the damage and death toll was reported to be the worst since the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Harrisburg schools were closed until March 5, 2012. Trauma counseling was offered to students after reopening.

Westboro Baptist Church planned to protest the funerals of the dead. The residents of the city were indignant, and several local groups created a "Shield of support" around the funeral processions, with thousands attending and standing in large groups around the city.

The storm damage in Harrisburg dominated national airwaves for several days, with both Anderson Cooper and Diane Sawyer doing special reports. Both the New York Times and Chicago Tribune published articles about the resilient history and nature of Harrisburg to rebound from the tornado and floods that have hit the city since its founding in 1889.

Troop 33 sent a 13-man work crew, 10 scouts and 3 adults, during Spring Break 2012 to do disaster relief projects in Harrisburg, Illinois. They traveled nearly 400 miles to Harrisburg to invest themselves in hard physical labor to benefit the community. Their work time was spent in doing two major disaster relief projects.


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FUJITA SCALE
& TORNADO FREQUENCY





The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale)

INTRODUCTION

Dr. T. Theodore Fujita first introduced The Fujita Scale in the SMRP Research Paper, Number 91, published in February 1971 and titled, "Proposed Characterization of Tornadoes and Hurricanes by Area and Intensity".

Fujita revealed in the abstract his dreams and intentions of the F-Scale. He wanted something that categorized each tornado by intensity and area. The scale was divided into six categories:


                        EF-0 (Gale) -- 65-85 mph --
                        EF-1 (Weak)
-- 86-110 mph --
                        EF-2 (Strong)
-- 111-135 mph --
                        EF-3 (Severe)
-- 136-165 mph --
                        EF-4 (Devastating)
-- 166-200 mph --
                        EF-5 (Incredible)
-- over 200 mph --

Dr. Fujita's goals were for the F-Scale to:
      - categorize each tornado by its intensity and its area
      - estimate a wind speed associated with the damage



AVERAGE NUMBER OF TORNADOES IN THE U.S PER YEAR



HARRISBURG IL -- EF-4 TORNADO




PROJECT #1

Scouts collected storm debris from 4-miles of roadway along U.S. Route 45. Items were a varied including: vinyl siding, wood trim, wood decking, 20lb weightlifting disk, I-Pod attachment, car parts, litter, basketball backboard, plus countless other items.

Some things could be easily picked up and some needed to be pryed from the ground. Two truckloads of debris were collected. The result was a clean litter-free roadway.



Scouts from Troop 33 cleared debris from 4-miles of U.S. Route 45


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PROJECT #2

Two lots on Largent Street in Harrisburg had homes destroyed and demolished. Bricks and concrete still remained and needed to be removed to clear the lots for trailer use. The Scouts of Troop 33 removed tons of bricks and concrete from the area using wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, buckets, a big sledge hammer, and a lot of muscle and sweat.

It was a project of extreme physical effort. Each day a large container dumpster was filled with tons of material and hauled away. The lots were eventually cleared. Two trailers were moved onto the properties to provide temporaty housing for homeless families. The work of the boys made an important difference in the lives of people.



Concrete and masonry being removed on Largent Street by Troop 33


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NEWS COVERAGE

A front page article in DeKalb's newspaper, the Daily Chronicle, detailed the efforts of Troop 33 Scouts during spring break in Harrisburg Illinois.

"Scouts forgo break to help Harrisburg"
Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
April 7, 2012 -- Section A, Page 1
Click Here

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SUPPORT

Dorrisville Baptist Church provided meals and lodging while in Harrisburg. Operation Storm provided project supervision and support. Scouts enjoyed daily showers, sleeping cots in a gymnasium, excellent meals, and some very positive interaction with other great volunteer workers. Energetic evenings were spent playing basketball and volleyball in the gym.

Scouts were invited to outstanding religious services on Palm Sunday conducted by Dorrisville Baptist Church. Local people expressed thanks for our time and efforts. Everyone was gracious and hospitable to us. The boys rose to any challenge with a cheerful spirit of service that brought great pride to our efforts.



Dorisville Baptist Church hosted 40 volunteers while we were there.


Our disaster relief projects made a significant improvement in the recovery of the community. Four miles of U.S. Route 45 was cleared of tornado debris. Two lots covered with concrete and masonry were cleared for housing two homeless families in trailers. The Scouts of Troop 33 lived the Oath and Law while investing sweat, hard work, and determination for the benefit of others.

MEMBERS OF THE
TROOP 33 WORK CREW

ADULTS
- Chris Christopherson
- Cliff Golden
- James F. Ryan
YOUTH
- Travis deOliveira
- Keegan Donnelly
- Hunter Jensen
- Caeden Keith
- Cedric Montgomery
- Matt Moon
- Chris Pedersen
- Alex "AJ" Petersen
- Jack Petrie
- Isaac Truckenbrod



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