Lynn Maximuk (left), NWS Central Region Director, and Steve Kuhl (right) NWS Quad Cities Meteorologist in Charge, pose with StormReady Community Hero Award recipients in front of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at a ceremony in Iowa City.
NOAA’s National Weather Service has honored five community heroes for their life-saving actions during the devastating tornado that swept through
Lynn P. Maximuk, director of the National Weather Service Central Region, presented the awards at the St. Patrick’s
This event marks only the third time a StormReady Community Hero award has been presented by the National Weather Service.
When the strong F2 tornado swept through the heart of
On April 13, 2006, National Weather Service forecasters issued the first tornado warning for
At 8:20 p.m., Deacon Miller was leaving St. Patrick’s when he heard the tornado sirens. Deacon Miller immediately went back inside to notify Father Juarez, who was conducting a Rosary service. The service was stopped immediately and over 50 parishioners took refuge in the basement of the next door rectory.
The tornado slammed into the church just minutes later at about 8:35 p.m., collapsing the steeple and southern portion of the roof, including the choir loft, directly onto where the parishioners had been moments before. The rectory building also sustained significant damage, but parishioners sheltering in the basement escaped unharmed.
“Advance planning led by Tom Hansen and Sue Faith at Johnson County Emergency Management and the quick reactions of Father Juarez and Deacon Miller saved dozens of people from serious injury or worse,” said Steve Kuhl, meteorologist in charge of the Quad Cities weather forecast office. “It is very encouraging to our staff to be able to congratulate them for their attention to detail rather than having to extend condolences to all those families.”
"NOAA feels a great compassion for the people of
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