Narrow twister tears path through rural Greenwood area



by Dean Lesar
As tornadoes go, the one that hop-scotched through the countryside near Greenwood on the evening of Sept. 24 was relatively meek. Don’t tell that, though, to the people who own buildings and land along the 4.7-mile track where the twister dropped far enough from the clouds to make contact.
Farm buildings and trees took most of the brunt of the damage from winds that the National Weather Service say topped out at 88 mph. The tornado first touched down in an area near Ives Avenue and Heintown Road in the town of Seif, and rolled in a northeast direction south of Greenwood. The last significant damage was seen about two miles west of Loyal along Highway 98, the NWS said.
The NWS said the twister was classified as an EF1 and was on the ground from 9:26 p.m. to 9:31 p.m. The path was narrow -- about 60 yards wide according to the NWS -- and contained significant damage to stands of timber and farm buildings mostly south and southwest of Greenwood in the towns of Seif, Hendren and Eaton. An NWS spokesman said the twister apparently rose and fell as it made its way through the area.
“Some times, tornado paths are intermittent like that,” the spokesman said.
It was most definitely on or near the ground when it slashed over the Black River near the bridge over Clark County Road OO. On the west side of the river, the tornado blasted apart trees on Robert Carpenter’s 39 acres. It then crossed the river and road where it snapped off a power pole and wiped out stands of trees, and then veered up the hill where it pounded Wes and Jodi Stieglitz’s farm.
Carpenter said he was in his home and watching television coverage of the weather situation. He lost reception on his satellite dish and was going to turn on the radio to listen when the tornado apparently hit.
“All I heard was a real high piercing, like a shriek,” Carpenter said.
Outside he could hear trees and limbs breaking in the wind. Limbs dropped on his house roof, and large oak trees near the house were uprooted.
“Fortunately, they fell north, parallel to the house,” Carpenter said.
After the winds passed, he went outside to inspect the damage. In the dark, it looked bad, but he still had no idea.
“I could see there was a lot of damage. I didn’t realize it was to this extent,” he said.

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