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July 6, 2011 - Karin Elton
In all my 12 years or so of working at the Independent, I’ve never had to take shelter in the basement. The handful of employees who hadn’t gone home early for the Independence Day holiday had to spend the worst part of the storm in the dark (no electricity) and dank basement Friday around 4:30 p.m. The sports editor, Joe Brown, said the basement had a “Silence of the Lambs” feel to it.

After receiving the “all clear,” we milled about in the lobby and watched the storm. Circulation employee Julie Macht searched a cupboard for “emergency candy” and found Pearson’s thin mints. She offered one to everyone for sustenance. We wondered how we were going to get the paper out with no electricity. Luckily, the electricity outage in most parts of Marshall was short-lived.

Before long, the reporters and editors got crackin’. We eagerly fanned out and took photos of all that we saw. Cindy Votruba was sent to Ruthton where we heard a house was torn in half.

En route to taking photos, I picked up my daughter and two of her friends and brought them to McDonald’s. People had to wade in water up to their ankles to get in the door. On East College Drive, my daughter looked at a white house with a green door and said, “Even after a major storm we still don’t get to see what’s behind the green door.”

Every street and lawn was covered in branches and fallen trees. Some streets were impassable, such as 5th Street.

The whole town of Marshall was out and about, marveling at the damage, particularly the huge old trees that had been uprooted such as the ones on the north end of Liberty Park.

One family I interviewed was standing in the porch watching the storm when “kaboom!” the daughter said, a large tree fell on their house, caving in half of the porch and upstairs. She said she and her mom were “nervous wrecks” after that.

One little girl I talked to, 4-year-old Kenzie Freese, was helping her dad rake the street in front of their house. Watching her dad lift a large limb I said to her, “your dad is strong.” “I’m stronger,” she said. I told her that she will always remember that when she was 4 years old a big storm hit Marshall (and the area) on July 1st.

The photos that we took can be viewed at or and click on “CU” and search for July storm.


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