Baby dropped in field by tornado dies; toll at 39
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Fifteen-month-old Angel Babcock seemed to be the miracle survivor of a deadly tornado that killed her parents and two siblings when she arrived Friday night at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. Though criticall...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Fifteen-month-old Angel Babcock seemed to be the miracle survivor of a deadly tornado that killed her parents and two siblings when she arrived Friday night at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. Though critically injured when the twister scooped her up and deposited her in a field, Angel was opening her eyes. Hospital workers said that was a hopeful sign.
But the New Pekin, Ind., girl's condition deteriorated Saturday as her brain swelled, chief nursing officer Cis Gruebbel said. As the day went on, Angel's eyes ceased to move, and there was no sign of brain activity. Her family decided to take her off life support on Sunday afternoon after medical staff told them there was nothing more they could do.
Angel's death ended a hopeful tale for survivors in the Midwest and South and brought to 39 the number of people killed by the storms that devastated five states.
As residents picked through the rubble and made plans to bury their dead, they also began trying to find a semblance of normalcy as officials continued to assess the damage.
The National Weather Service in Louisville, Ky., said the tornado that struck New Pekin measured an EF-3 on the enhanced Fujita scale, while another tornado that struck nearby Henryville, Ind., was stronger yet, measuring an EF-4 and packing winds of 175 mph.
Early Monday, a blanket of wet snow covered Henryville and other parts of tornado-stricken Clark County. State homeland security spokeswoman Emily Norcross said the 2 to 4 inches of snow would likely slow the cleanup effort because it covered debris and concealed potential hazards.
"It's slippery and it's hampering visibility on roads, so it's more difficult to see small debris like nails," Norcross said. "It's complicating things."
Theresa McCarty, owner of Pop Top Bar in New Pekin, said her husband was with emergency workers Friday when they found the Babcock family. Their bodies had been scattered, she said.
McCarty, her friends and co-workers talked about establishing the bar as a central refuge for victims of the tornado from the immediate region, including making roughly 1,000 meals Sunday for victims and volunteers.
But when she talked about the Babcock family, she got quiet: "It was the whole family."
Speaking from his bed at the University of Louisville Hospital, Jason Miller told NBC's "Today" show Monday that he saw the Babcock family outside as the storm was bearing down and took them into his home. As the tornado hit, they took shelter in the hallway, grabbed hands and began praying.
Miller said he remembers being sucked up into the air but blacked out soon after. His arm, back and five ribs were broken.
"It's very saddening to hear that the whole family passed away and I was sitting right there holding their hands two seconds before they died," Miller said.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told CBS' "Face the Nation" that the twister "moved like a lawnmower though some of the most beautiful countryside, and some of the most beautiful towns that we have."
In Henryville, about 20 miles north of Louisville, school was canceled for the week because of heavy damage to the education complex housing elementary through high school students.