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Archive for Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lawrence man finds debris from Reading tornado in backyard

Lawrence resident Neal Ballard talks about finding a receipt from Reading, Kan. in his backyard that he believes was delivered by winds from Saturday's tornado.

May 22, 2011

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Lawrence resident Neal Ballard, who lives on the 1900 block of Learnard, is pictured with a receipt from Reading he found on Sunday afternoon in his backyard while preparing to mow his grass. Ballard thinks the receipt was delivered to his backyard by the tornado that struck Reading on Saturday.

Lawrence resident Neal Ballard, who lives on the 1900 block of Learnard, is pictured with a receipt from Reading he found on Sunday afternoon in his backyard while preparing to mow his grass. Ballard thinks the receipt was delivered to his backyard by the tornado that struck Reading on Saturday.

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Reading debris found in Lawrence


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Before mowing his lawn, Neal Ballard always walks through his yard picking up sticks and scraps of debris. On Sunday afternoon, Ballard found a piece of paper that shocked him.

It was a 2007 receipt for 100 pounds of rocks. But that wasn’t the startling part.

The receipt was from Reading Rock Inc. and written out to the Osage County maintenance department. And it had landed in a spot on Ballard’s yard that is shaded by a canopy of trees.

Ballard’s mind immediately jumped to Saturday night’s EF-3 tornado that ripped through the small town of Reading, which is about 70 miles southwest of Lawrence. The tornado killed one man, destroyed 20 homes and damaged 200 other buildings.

“What would the chances be of living in Lawrence and walking out in your backyard and finding this?” Ballard asked.

Actually it can be rather typical, National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Byrne said. Ballard's finding was not the only report of Reading debris in Lawrence. Debris was also found near the 3500 block of Bob Billings Parkway.

“After a significant tornado, to find that kind of debris raining down in locations 30 to 40 miles away is fairly common,” Byrne said. “They can be caught in the updraft and stay suspended until the updraft no longer supports them.”

Ballard, who lives in the 1900 block of Learnard Avenue, was fully aware of Saturday’s tornado. In fact, throughout the evening he was on the phone with his sister, who lives in nearby Lyndon and was seeking shelter in her bathtub from the two rounds of tornadoes that swept through the region.

He was just surprised to see a piece of the storm’s destruction in his backyard.

“You hear of debris flying great distances. And this is evidence,” Ballard said.

Comments

trailblazer 3 years, 2 months ago

We live just outside of Eudora and we found a receipt from Reading, KS as well in our back yard.

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auntmimi210 3 years, 2 months ago

Someone commented on another Reading story on ljworld.com, that a friend of theirs found a cancelled check from Reading in their yard on North Michigan. Bizarre to think all these papers flew 70 miles. Mother Nature at work.

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BradLevy 3 years, 2 months ago

I found a receipt from the Reading Grain & Lumber, Inc. dated 7/10/2008 in my sw Lawrence yard today.

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SofaKing 3 years, 2 months ago

I found some dog poo in my backyard and I think it flew over from the tornado in Reading because I don't have a dog.

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SofaKing 3 years, 2 months ago

And I found Toto, still in his basket. Dorothy has not been located.

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cammieb 3 years, 2 months ago

We found a canceled check from Reading in our backyard. We live on Riverside, just off North Michigan. There must have been a lot of checks flying around!

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rumor_man 3 years, 2 months ago

I like to read at night. eerie.

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