Saturday, April 10, 1999
Survivors eager to swap stories
BY DANA DiFILIPPO and LEW MOORES
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Marjorie and James Glenn were in the minority Friday.
They were one of only a handful of storm victims at a makeshift shelter at the Sycamore Junior High School, where 350 volunteers and rescue workers gathered.
Rescue organizers speculated that the shelter didn't fill up because storm victims headed for relatives' and friends' homes or hotels paid for by their homeowners' insurance.
"Time to get up'
The Glenns, who live in Leesburg, Fla., were in Montgomery visiting their daughter, Julie Stiffler, 53, and grandchildren Kenny and Lindsey.
The family's condominium suffered little damage besides broken windows, but emergency crews evacuated the neighborhood to check for potential structural problems.
We woke up to rain and fog and glass blowing in our faces, said Mr. Glenn, 77. We decided then that it was time to get up.
There was no teeth- brushing, no hair-combing and no face-washing this morning, added his 76-year-old wife.
The storm created such a vacuum that she was sucked out the bedroom door and then stumbled down the stairs when she tried to flee to the condo's basement, Mrs. Glenn added.
Like the Glenns, the other evacuated residents who came to the temporary shelter at the junior high on Cooper Road and another at Christian Hills Academy in Sycamore Township seemed eager to share their stories of survival.
Equally talkative were the volunteers, many of whom said they felt driven to help because of their fortune in escaping injury and damage.
I was so glad I didn't get hit that I wanted to come here and help out, said Ivory Laibson, a Sycamore High School student. It's kind of scary, this being so close to home.
"A helping hand'
Sycamore High junior Scott Miller added: I drove by the devastation and I knew people needed a helping hand.
Restaurants and supermarkets donated food for storm victims. Nurses worked with Red Cross volunteers to get medication from pharmacies for evacuees who forgot needed prescriptions at home.
Classroom a refuge
Dan Mirus, a seventh-grade math teacher at Sycamore Junior High, offered his classroom as a peaceful refuge from the chaotic cafeteria that served as shelter headquarters.
This is my school, and this is my community, said Mr. Mirus, who lives a mile away from the school.
By Friday evening, 72 people were at the shelter at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. The shelters will remain open through the weekend.
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