Red Cross volunteer sees damage from unique perspective

By: David Marcus - Email
By: David Marcus - Email

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PITTSBURGH, Kan. - Aaron Phillips of Pittsburg has been a Red Cross volunteer for twelve years. He says he's used to coming to the aid of others, but the tornado in Baxter Springs put his own family in the firing line.

Phillips' parents live in Baxter Springs. He got a shocking phone call from his mother, who simply told him, "We got hit."

Phillips had no idea what she meant, until she went into detail. And her account of the damage in her neighborhood left Phillips stunned.

"They were in the worst part of the tornado," said Phillips. "The home was affected but it could have been a lot worse. Not more than 50 feet from their house, there was a home that was completely destroyed."

Phillips says his parents were very lucky. They were in the middle of about a 4-block radius where some of the worst damage in Baxter Springs occurred.

In all, about 100 homes and businesses were destroyed by the tornado. The National Weather Service says the storm formed so quickly, that sirens went off only about two minutes before the tornado touched down.

Phillips says a shelter has been set up at a community center in Baxter Springs.

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