Here are the pictures from my journey to Hallam, NE. I heard on the radio that they needed additional volunteers so I fired up my ham radio gear and headed down. They bussed us from Princeton into Hallam where volunteers helped to clean up after the devastating tornados. When I was there I put on the official radio geek florescent yellow vest and helped to coordinate volunteer activities. On Friday I got to walk around the entire town as there weren't many ham radio operators there. On Saturday I brought my camera and although I was assigned to one small section of town I tried to grab some pictures from other sections when my travels took me there. I have included some captions below the pictures. These pictures have been reduce from their original size to make it easier to view them. To see the original high resolution picture, just click on the picture.
To download a zip file of all the high resolution pictures, click here
Here are the pictures:
Caption on house reads: Tornados 3, Hallam 0.
This is the same house showing there used to be an upstairs.
The grain silos were pretty beat up. On Friday they were pumping the grain left inside and trucking it somewhere else trying to salvage anything they could.
There used to be grain bins in the right side of the picture just pas the semi truck. There wasn't much left.
These cars were pretty well beat up by the storm . . .
You can see some more damage here. I wished I had gotten pictures of what I saw on Friday where cars & trucks were destroyed from mainly wind and rain. You could see where something had broken out the windows of the cars, then the dirtiest water (well mud pretty much) had been injected into the cars at 200 mph completely destroying the interior of the vehicles. It was amazing.
This SUV was in my section and used to be in the garage of the house. The house on the right was destroyed, the garage is no more, and the SUV left safe and sound was totaled in what used to be the garage.
In the distance you can see house with the second story pretty well demolished.
Here's a picture of the same house from the front side..
Here's the same house pictured in the distance with the side of the house falling off (a little later in the day after they got a dumptser).
"In GOD We Trust" it says. Once again you can see the distinct lack of a garage.
Another picture of the same house.
The last telephone poles left standing in town are here. Almost all the others were blown over. You could see sand and small rocks imbedded into the telephone poles showing you just how hard the wind was blowing.
Missing the back end of the house.
Same house as previous. You can see the cinder block structure which used to be in the garage. I'm not sure what it was, but you can see it survived pretty well and there was nothing left of the garage it was in.
More pictures of the rubble covering alleys and damaged grain silos in the distance.
More piles of debris and showing much of the damage.
I'm not sure what this building was but you can see where the second floor was leaving only a doorway standing.
I believe this was a water storage tank. Note the location of the foundation in relation to the building around it.
This is one of the worst cases of house being blown off the foundation.
Debris piles and some of the cars which survived the storm.
In the distance (beyond the red truck) is that same house I've taken so many pictures of.
The red sign in front of this roofless house says "We will be back." This town has a lot of spirit.
Signs like the one on this house reading "Thank You Everyone" really makes us volunteers feel good.
This house which was moved off it's foundation on this side has "Auntie Em There's no place like home" written on side and then the homeowner put a pair of legs and shoes sticking out from under the house (see picture below).
This is the other side of the "There's no place like home" house.
This picture was taken for my insurance agent who works for Shelter (which by the way I would highly recommend). The sign reads "AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE SUCKS" (blown up below).
More damage and piles of debris.
In this picture you can see a minivan in the background. Below this same pictured zoomed in.
"Runs Good, Looks Bad" If I remember right, on the back it says something like "Just reduced! Was $5000, now $50" Between that and the "For Sale" and "For Rent Cheap" signs all over, the town had a great sense of humor!
Another house missing much of the roof. If you look carefully you can see the For Sale sign in the window (see below):
Here you can see the rail road car laying on it's side and part of the grain silo wrapped around it. This is after they had been cleaning this area up!
Another picture of the grain hopper on it's side.
Grain truck leaving town full of salvaged grain.
You can see the American Legion in the background which was the volunteer coordination center where everyone checked in and got supplies such as gloves and googles.
More shots of main street (remember this is almost a week after the tornados so things have been substantially cleaned up!
A damaged building on Main Street. Note the spray paint on the street. That's how streets were marked since all the signs in the town had been blown over (or away).