IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

This farm is no stranger to twisters

A family that lives on a Nebraska farm has seen four twisters there in 25 years, including two earlier this month just nine days apart.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Cindy Parde doesn't know much about the two tornadoes that hit her Nebraska farm in nine days.

"I can't tell you much about either one of them because I was in my basement," she said Monday as friends and family helped her husband, Doug, with the cleanup outside.

The Pardes and their three children work a 600-acre family farm about five miles south-southwest of Adams in Gage County.

On April 6, the first twister _ rated a relatively mild F0 on the Fujita scale _ took out their hog building but didn't kill any of the 300 or so hogs inside. They also lost a lean-to cattle shelter and a satellite dish.

The damage was estimated at more than $55,000, she said.

Then on Saturday, what the National Weather Service described as an F2 twister took out three empty grain bins, a windmill and several trees.

In addition, she said, their house "lost one window, a few shingles and a little bit of siding."

No damage estimate has been made yet.

"Twice in nine days was one too many times for me," Cindy Parde said.

1981, 1993 events
But not so unusual when you consider that the same farm has been hit four times in 25 years.

Parde said her husband's parents were living there in 1981 when a tornado ripped off a hog house roof and in 1993 when a garage was destroyed and a barn was damaged.

Cathy Zapotocny, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Valley, said it's just a myth that tornadoes — like lightning — don't strike the same place.

She confirmed the last two tornadoes but said weather service records don't reflect the 1981 and 1993 storms. However, she said, it's not unusual for tornadoes and minor damage to go unreported.

She said the Fujita scale used to rate tornadoes is based on wind speed and damage capability.

The F2 on Saturday was powerful enough to rip off house roofs, flip over train cars and obliterate mobile homes.

No injuries were reported Saturday. Gage County emergency management has estimated damage at $2.5 million to $3 million dollars.

Owner is a weather spotter
An ironic twist to the Pardes' tornado encounters: Doug Parde is a weather spotter for the Adams fire department.

On April 6, his wife said, he rode out the first tornado in his machine shed "trying to hold the door shut."

On Saturday, he was outside the house observing. At the last minute he dove down into the basement to safety with his wife and their three kids, ages 7, 5 and 1.

It was weird after the storms, she said.

"You come out of the basement and you think you see heaven because it's nothing but daylight."