Separate blows by 2 of nature's most terrible forces have left sections of the Midwest battered almost beyond belief.
SLIDE SUPER, NEIL BOGGS
SLIDE SUPER Russiaville INDIANA
SLIDE SUPER ST. PAUL
ABOUT:25 SEC, TIL CU JOHNSON IN CROWD
BOGGS ON CAMERA
SLIDE SUPER, HARRY VOLKMAN
BOGGS ON CAMERA
SLIDE SUPER OHIO
SLIDE SUPER, INDIANA
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Separate blows by 2 of nature's most terrible forces have left sections of the Midwest battered almost beyond belief. The twin attack by wind, and water, caused widespread destruction and suffering. One SEIGE is not over yet. The Midwest is still having floods. The tornadoes of last Sunday lasted but minutes. They left scars which will last for years. Of the 6 states pounded by the tornadoes, none was hit as badly as Indiana. In all, the winds killed nearly 250 persons,...
More than half the dead were in Indiana. Entire towns there were left in rubble. Russiaville, Indiana---here---was more than 90 percent destroyed. At Russiaville, and elsewhere, the dominant sound still at week's end was the drone of power saws, and of bulldozers, clearing away the debris (SOF UP, :08 TIL SHOT OF PEOPLE IN RUBBLE)]
...while survivors silently picked their way through the ruins of their shattered home salvagingwhat they could (SOF UP :05, TIL WIDE SHOT OF WRECKED HOME)
There had been tornadoes before, which killed more people. But seldom had there been such a deadly concentration of twisters, over such a vast area--from Iowa, eastward through Ohio. It's estimated that as many as a hundred hit Indiana alone. For all of the 6-state area, damage estimates are approaching the quarter-billion dollar mark. An exact count of the injured still has not been made, but the number runs into the thousands. Countless thousands more are homeless...
President Johnson made an inspection trip to the Indiana and Ohio tornado zones Wednesday, and looked, in grim silence, most of the time (SOF ABOUT :25 SEC, TIL CU JOHNSON IN CROWD)
Besides giving his personal encouragement to those with whom he talked, the President also pledged federal assistance in the rebuilding effort.
The same day, Mr. Johnson also flew to the Minnesota flood zone.
One of the first sights he witnessed was the heroic effort of the workers manning the sandbag barricades. Almost, round-the-clock duty for many. And so far, their work has produced results. The emergency dikes have saved many homes and business places, though the Mississippi--at its highest level hers ever--has battered into the lower sections.
The trouble began along the Minnesota River, which joins the Mississippi, at St. Paul. Then the Mississippi, also fed by the run off from heavy winter snows, began its rampage. Downstream on the Mississippi, a 6-hundred mile stretch in 5 states is threated. Minnesota counts at least 10 dead from its floods, up to 30-thousand homeless, a preliminary damage estimate of 3-million dollars. A late cold snap on the Upper Mississippi slowed the crest, and made it 1-feet lower than the record 27 feet for the St. Paul area. first forecast. But the waters will be slow in falling, and the weather bureau says the danger will continue, at Saint Paul, because of the longer-than-expected period of strain on the dikes.
For a report on what causes weather disasters, like the Midwest floods and tornadoes, and the likelihood of their recurrence, here is NBC meteorologist, Harry Volkman:
Even with prolonged good weather, the Midwest still will be a long time, recovering. NB, NBC News, Chicago.