ND tornado destroys 6 homes, warning sounded

Tuesday, July 8th 2008, 11:09 am
By: News 9

ROLLA, N.D. (AP) -- Residents say they were warned well before a tornado struck their small town, destroying six homes and damaging others.

Sheila Zinke said the sounding of the town's tornado siren Monday gave her and visiting relatives time to get to shelter.

"I was watching it from my basement, and I actually saw it come across the north section of town," Zinke said.

Officials said besides destroying the six homes, the tornado damaged about 10 other buildings, including an apartment complex, in the community of about 1,500 people.

The twister was produced by a storm system that also knocked out power in parts of central Minnesota and Wisconsin. A 16-year-old boy died early Tuesday at Watertown, Wis., after being struck by lightning on his family's farm, officials said.

Officials in Rolla said a firefighter was treated for minor injuries, and a man injured by falling bricks in nearby Belcourt was taken to a hospital in Minot. The injured man's condition was not released.

Rolla's high school principal, Randy Loing, said his home doesn't have a basement so he headed to a friend's house with his sons, ages 9 and 10.

"As we were driving down the street, we saw the funnel cloud coming from the west," Loing said. "Just after we got into the basement, the wind came up, it got dark and my ears popped from the pressure. I tackled my kids to the floor, laid on top of them, and in 10 seconds it was pretty much over."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)